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Morocco hosts "Chergui 2022", the military exercise with France

Paris and Rabat are engaged in this military event which is highlighting the strengthening of their bilateral relations in order to face joint challenges
El rey marroquí Mohammed VI y el presidente francés Emmanuel Macron, a la izquierda, tras inaugurar una línea de alta velocidad en la estación de tren de Rabat PHOTO/AP

PHOTO/AP  -   Moroccan King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron, left, after inaugurating a high-speed train line at the Rabat train station.

Morocco and France are experiencing one of their best moments as political and economic allies, as evidenced by the various events they are holding together. The region of Er-Rachidia, in the province of Draa-Tafilatet is hosting the joint Moroccan-French military exercise known as "Chergui 2022". It is a training of all the military forces of the two nations that has been taking place in the area since the beginning of March.

The exercise is part of the two countries' plans to improve the defence of their territorial integrity. Its main objective is also aimed at consolidating relations between the Royal Armed Forces and the French army, and it is bearing fruit. With just days to go, bilateral relations between Paris and Rabat are being strengthened and expectations are high.

"The planning of inter-training has been carried out between military officers of the two countries since September last year in France and Morocco," commented the Commander General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.

Soldados del ejército marroquí en un punto de observación durante el ejercicio militar "León Africano" en la región de Tan-Tan, en el suroeste de Marruecos, el 18 de junio de 2021 AFP/FADEL SENNA
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan army soldiers at an observation point during the "African Lion" military exercise in the Tan-Tan region of southwestern Morocco on June 18, 2021.

The practice of this event is monitored by several international observers. They believe that, thanks to the holding of this exercise, the two countries are showing great military cooperation, as well as showing great relevance to security issues. They also described the exercise as "very important" because of Algeria's announcement that its armies are prepared to establish themselves on the borders near Morocco for training.

"The joint military training between the Royal Armed Forces and the French Army in Morocco's third military region is the first of its kind since its announcement, and this joint training is expected to be an annual season between the two countries due to the military and security challenges for France in the Sahel region," Mohamed al-Tayyar, a researcher in Strategic and Security Studies told the Moroccan press after being asked about the event.

The main purpose of the exercises is to demonstrate the readiness of the two countries' forces on an international level. In the training, it is clear that the two nations have a great capacity to carry out all types of attack, defence, security, relief, etc. missions. Throughout this month, there has been a great aptitude on both sides to work, plan and develop their forces both technically and operationally.

"Ties are expected to develop significantly in light of Morocco's drive at all levels, including in the field of military industrialisation. The Kingdom is expected to occupy an important position at the gateway for French companies to Africa. Also, the issue of Western Sahara's sovereignty would further strengthen the relationship between the North African nation and the French country, which has proven over time to be stable and reliable," Al-Tayyar added.

Soldados marroquíes hacen guardia durante una recepción como parte del ejercicio militar African Lion en el complejo Grier Labouihi, en el sur de Marruecos PHOTO/AP
PHOTO/AP - Moroccan soldiers stand guard during a reception as part of the African Lion military exercise at the Grier Labouihi complex in southern Morocco.

During its stay in the region, France has demonstrated its military defence reinforcements. These include the 4th Air and Marine Combat Brigade, as well as a number of armoured vehicles. On the Moroccan side, the Maghreb press highlights the words of a pilot who is immersed in this training. "The joint exercise will allow French military officers to see the experience acquired by the Moroccan army," reports the Moroccan media.

Morocco is at a point where, in military terms, major operations are being carried out with other countries around the world. One of the most important of these is its solid relationship with the United States in Operation African Lion, which this year will again be presided over by Morocco and is aimed at countering future terrorist attacks and preventing any possible natural disasters from happening on the African continent.

"The military exercises on Moroccan soil translate into great military cooperation between Rabat and those countries in exchanging military experience and improving professional skills in the field of security," adds Hisham Moatad, an academic and political analyst, interviewed by the daily Al-Arab.