Morocco, Israel sign historic defense memorandum

Morocco and Israel have signed Wednesday in Rabat a memorandum of understanding in defense matters, paving the way for future military collaboration.

The MoU covers exchanges of experience and expertise, technology transfer, training and cooperation in the field of defense industry.

The memorandum was signed by Israeli Deputy-Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz who is on a two-day visit to Morocco this Nov. 24 to 25, the first by an Israeli defense minister after normalization of ties in December 2020.

On the Moroccan side, the memorandum was signed by Delegate Minister in charge of the National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi.

During the meeting, held at the instructions of King Mohammed VI, the two ministers welcomed the progress made in the field of defense with the conclusion of an agreement on the protection of information in the area of defense and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in cybersecurity.

The two ministers then discussed ways and means of strengthening bilateral military cooperation in areas of common interest and renewed their common desire to consolidate these relations.

They also exchanged views on bilateral and regional issues. In this regard, they highlighted the historical and cultural ties between the two countries and the strong attachment to the Sovereign of the Jewish community in Morocco and the Moroccan Jewish diaspora in Israel and around the world, enabling them to promote peace and strengthen stability in the Middle East.

Following the signing of the MoU, the Israeli defense Minister tweeted that this security cooperation agreement with Morocco includes the regulation of intelligence cooperation, security and defense procurement, joint training and industrial cooperation.

He also expressed thanks to King Mohammed VI for his efforts to expand relations between the two countries. “We have taken a historic step today,” the Israeli Defense Minister added in his twit.

Later Wednesday, and upon the high instructions of the King, Supreme Commander and Chief of General Staff of FAR, Lieutenant General, Inspector General of FAR and Commander of the Southern Zone, Belkhir El Farouk, received Gantz, who was leading a large delegation. in the presence of FAR senior military officials.

During this working meeting, attended by FAR senior military officials, the two men welcomed the dynamics of cooperation between the two countries, carrying mutual interests and auguring a promising collaboration in terms of exchange of expertise in particular in the areas of training, defense capacity building and technology transfer.

Later on, the Israeli official held a meeting with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Gantz began his trip to Rabat by visiting the Mohammed V Mausoleum, where the late Kings Mohammed VI and Hassan II are buried. He laid a wreath there and wrote in the visitors’ book.

The Israeli delegation’s visit to Morocco falls within the framework of cooperation relations between the Kingdom and Israel, which have recorded tangible progress since the signing, under the presidency of King Mohammed VI, of the tripartite declaration between Morocco, Israel and the United States, in December 2020, which culminated in the resumption of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv.

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