Magharebia (Washington DC)

Morocco: Rabat Hosts Global Counter-Terrorism Forum Event

Rabat — The Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) co-ordinating committee wrapped up a two-day conference in Rabat on Thursday (April 3rd).

Government officials from the Maghreb, Europe and the Americas agreed that they needed to work together to fight the common threat.

"We must pool our efforts to deal more effectively with the tactics used by extremists," said Tunç Ugdul, director-general for security affairs at the Turkish foreign ministry.

"We must examine the underlying reasons that spur these people to commit such acts so that we can take action and find alternatives," he added.

This position was shared by the secretary-general of the Moroccan foreign affairs ministry, Nasser Bourita. He called for special attention to be paid to Africa.

The Moroccan official said that the kingdom's experience in the field of counter-terrorism was central to the discussions at the meeting.

"Morocco has been able to reconcile security vigilance, development efforts and action in the religious domain, which is aimed at de-radicalisation and reintegration," he said.

A clear strategy for the Sahel and Africa needs to be developed, said Tina Kaidanow, ambassador at large and counter-terrorism co-ordinator at the US State Department.

Morocco's efforts to tackle terrorism could lead the way, attendees suggested.

The Canadian ambassador in Rabat said that having fallen victim to acts of terrorism in the past, Morocco has taken effective steps to combat the problem.

The head of the Italian delegation at the meeting, Andrea Orizio, likewise praised the kingdom's crucial contribution to the battle against terrorism and said that it was no coincidence that the GCTF committee meeting was being held in Rabat.

The European official highlighted the importance of the forum, which is co-chaired by the United States and Turkey.

Counter-terrorism is an international issue, because no country is immune to security risks, political analyst Sellam El Mardi noted.

Although the GCTF has developed an important model for counter-terrorism policy, it is now time to implement international co-operation on the ground, political analyst Jamal Farhani told Magharebia.

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