Morocco and Israel on Wednesday reached an “unprecedented” framework security cooperation agreement during a historic visit to Rabat by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Mr. Gantz, a former head of the Israeli army, was received early in the morning by the deputy minister responsible for the administration of Moroccan national defense, Abdellatif Loudiyi.
They signed a memorandum of understanding which formally launches security cooperation “in all its aspects” (operational planning, purchasing, research and development, etc.) between the two countries, barely a year after the normalization of relations, in the face of “Threats and challenges in the region”, according to the Israeli side.
“This is a very important thing that will also allow us to exchange views, launch joint projects and promote Israeli exports so far,” Gantz said.
“We have just signed a MOU with Morocco for security cooperation, covering all aspects. This is a very important step which will also give us the possibility to exchange opinions, to undertake joint projects, and which will allow Israeli exports to reach Morocco. I believe that relations between Morocco and Israel must continue to strengthen, develop and expand, and I am happy to participate”, Mr. Gantz commented to an Israeli television station.
Previously he laid a wreath at the Mohammed V mausoleum, to reflect on the burial place of the father of independence, the late King Mohammed V, and that of his son Hassan II.
“We ask for their blessing and look to our common future – a time when the bond between our peoples deepens and our nations come together to offer a shared vision of peace,” the Israeli minister wrote on the guestbook.
Before his departure from Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, the minister had mentioned “an important trip to Morocco which has a historical touch, because it is the first formal visit of an (Israeli) Minister of Defense to this country”.
During the 48-hour trip, Gantz is also due to meet with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on Wednesday.
Morocco and Israel established diplomatic relations in the early 1990s before Morocco ended it at the start of the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.
Now allies in a tense regional context, they resumed relations in December 2020 within the framework of the “Abraham Accords”, a process of normalization of relations between the Hebrew state and Arab countries supported by the administration of the former -US President Donald Trump.