Washington, DC (NAPSI) - It was fitting that at their recent White House meeting, President Obama andMorocco’s King Mohammed VI sat beneath a portrait of George Washington.

President Washington and Morocco’s then-King Mohammed III began America’s longest unbroken treaty alliance more than 200 years ago. In 1777, Morocco was the first country to recognize the new United States. Since then, the friendship between the two nations has grown and flourished.

At their meeting on November 22, President Obama and King Mohammed VI “reaffirmed the strong and mutually beneficial partnership and strategic alliance,” as well as “shared values, mutual trust, common interests and strong friendship.”

President Obama praised the King’s leadership in promoting democratic reform, economic development and human development in Morocco over the past decade. He also welcomed Morocco’s recent decision to reform its immigration and asylum laws to address concerns about migrants, refugees and human trafficking, and commended Morocco’s commitment to maintaining its record of furthering legal, political and economic rights for women.

Both leaders noted a “deep concern” about terrorism and vowed to continue working together to boost regional cooperation initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East, including on nonproliferation and counterterrorism, to “counter the threat of violent extremism in the region.”

The President and the King stressed their countries’ “common commitment to building stronger economic ties with and among the region” and highlighted the importance of fostering broad-based economic opportunity in the region, particularly for young people and women.

President Obama reaffirmed the long-held U.S. position that Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara is “serious, realistic and credible,” and that it “represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity.” He pledged that the U.S. would continue to support “a peaceful, sustainable, mutually agreed-upon solution to the Western Sahara question.”

In their closing statement, the leaders noted “Today’s meeting demonstrates that the interests of the United States and Morocco continue to converge, and that this historic partnership, which began in the 18th century, continues to thrive well into the 21st century.”

For more on the U.S.-Morocco Joint Statement, go to http://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/22/joint-statement-united-states-america-and-kingdom-morocco.

This information is provided by Beckerman on behalf of the Government of Morocco. More information is available at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.