Israel and Morocco sign historic defense agreement

Israel and Morocco signed a defense agreement on Wednesday when Defense Minister Benny Gantz paid the first official visit to the North African kingdom by an Israeli defense official.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Gantz and his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi and establishes a solid security cooperation framework that formalizes defense relations between the two countries, allowing for greater cooperation in the fields of intelligence, industrial collaboration, training. military and more.

“We have just signed a defense cooperation memorandum of understanding with Morocco. It is a very significant advance, which will allow us to work on joint projects and promote industrial cooperation, “Gantz said, adding that” relations between Israel and Morocco must be expanded and improved. “

During the meeting between the two defense ministers, Gantz also reiterated the importance of greater bilateral cooperation in light of the developing threats in the Middle East and North Africa and expressed the hope that more countries will sign agreements on defense. normalization with Israel.

Israel’s Defense Ministry said that “the agreement is a significant step in deepening relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco, which already benefit from increased economic cooperation, bilateral tourism and warm people-to-people relations.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing the Reichman University conference in Herzliya on November 23, 2021 (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE).

At the signing ceremony, Gantz thanked the Moroccan King Muhammad V and Loudiyi “for their efforts to strengthen and expand relations between the two countries,” a statement from the Defense Ministry read.

Before meeting with Loudiyi, Gantz paid his respects at the grave of Mohamed V, the reigning monarch’s grandfather along with members of the Israeli delegation and placed a ceremonial crown.

Israel and Morocco have had close economic, diplomatic and military ties for years and, according to a Haaretz report, military ties between Israel and Morocco mainly involve intelligence cooperation and the arms trade.

In June, a Moroccan C-130 landed in Israel, marking the first time that an air force platform belonging to the North African country landed in the Jewish state to participate in an international drill.

Jerusalem and Rabat reestablished ties under the Abraham Accords together with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan and normalized ties last December.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco in August and inaugurated the country’s mission in Rabat. During his two-day visit, Lapid met with his counterpart Nasser Bourita and presented him with an invitation from President Isaac Herzog for King Mohammed VI to visit Israel.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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