Morocco Current Affairs
United States and Morocco have launched GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative under auspices of Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The initiative brings together stakeholders to share expertise on developing and implementing effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools. It was launched on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.
GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative
The new initiative will strengthen UNSC Resolution 2396 aiming to stop terrorist travel altogether. It will improve capabilities for detecting and interdicting terrorist travel through enhanced terrorist screening and information sharing.
It will bring together national and local governments, law enforcement and border screening practitioners and international organizations to share expertise to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools.
Under this initiative, series of four regional workshops in 2018 and 2019 will be convened to develop set of good practices that will be endorsed at 2019 GCTF Ministerial. The resulting document will reinforce countries and organizations to use border security tools prescribed in UNSC Resolution 2396 to stop terrorist travel.
UN Security Council (UNSC) had unanimously adopted resolution 2396 (UNSCR 2396) in December 2017 requiring all member states to use various tools, including by implementing systems to collect traveler data and develop watchlists of known and suspected terrorists. One of the most effective tools to counter terrorist travel was through traveler data such as Advanced Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR), and biometrics.
Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)
GCTF’s is international apolitical, multilateral counter-terrorism (CT) platform of 29 countries and European Union (EU) with overarching mission of reducing vulnerability of people worldwide to terrorism by preventing, combating, and prosecuting terrorist acts and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism. It was launched officially in New York on 22 September 2011.
GCTF’s goal is to strengthen capabilities to develop strategic, long-term approach to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremist ideologies that underpin it. Its mission is to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ civilian capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.
Guided by the mutual will to develop friendly relations, Cuba and Morocco has signed an agreement to re-establish diplomatic ties after a time period of 37 years. The two governments have also agreed to forge political, economic and cultural cooperation. The agreement to this effect was signed at the headquarters of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations.
King Mohamed VI of Morocco has ordered the opening of a Moroccan embassy in Havana. Cuba is one of the few Latin American countries in which Morocco does not have any representation. It is expected that the relations between the countries would be restored after the exchange of ambassadors.
After Cuba’s diplomatic reestablishment with Morocco, Israel, South Korea and Somalia remain the only countries which do not have any ties with Cuba.
The decision to re-establish diplomatic ties has been made couple of weeks after King Mohammed’s private visit to Cuba. The visit of King Mohammed VI is the first ever made by a Moroccan king to Cuba.
Morocco severed its ties with Cuba in 1980 after Fidel Castro officially recognised Western Sahara as the independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Morocco claims the territory as its own.
The Cuba and Morocco relationship suffered several strains since 1960s due to Cuba’s decision to side with Algeria during the Morocco-Algerian military conflict of 1963 known as the “Sand War.” In 1970s, Cuba again decided to side with Algeria in its support for the independence of the Western Sahara from Morocco.