Israel and Morocco Sign Historic Defense Pact

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By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 24 November, 2021

Jerusalem, 24 November, 2021 (TPS) — Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of National Defense Abdellatif Loudiyi signed a historic Defense Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday.

Gantz is in the country for a brief visit, the first-ever by an Israeli defense minister.

The agreement “provides a solid framework that formalizes defense relations between the countries and establishes a foundation that will support any future cooperation,” Israel’s Ministry of Defense stated.

The past will enable the defense establishments of both countries to enjoy increased cooperation in the fields of intelligence, industrial collaboration, military training and more.

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

The defense cooperation MOU with Morocco is “a very significant development, which will enable us to work on joint projects and promote industrial cooperation. Relations between Israel and Morocco should be expanded and enhanced,” Gantz stated.

Following the signing ceremony, the Ministers held “a fruitful discussion” during which Gantz expressed his gratitude to King Mohammed VI and to his host, Minister Loudiyi, for supporting the expansion of ties between Israel and Morocco.

In light of developing threats in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Ministers “reiterated the importance of enhanced bilateral cooperation.”

Gantz also emphasized Morocco’s “important role in maintaining regional peace and stability” and raised the need to further expand normalization and peace accords with new partners.

Earlier in the day, Gantz paid his respects at the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V. He laid a ceremonial wreath and wrote a message to the nation of Morocco in the book of visitors.

The message “pays tribute to Morocco’s rich history, culture and legacy, and acknowledges the deepening relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco.”

Morocco was the fourth country to join the Abraham Accords with Israel. The two countries announced the normalization of relations in December 2020.

The United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain shortly after it, announced in August 2020 the normalization of relations with Israel.

Sudan was next to announce the normalization of relations with Israel in October, Israel’s third peace treaty in two months.

The Abraham Accords, the first pact between an Arab country and Israel in 25 years, is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

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