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Morocco receives new batch of US armoured tanks

July 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm

US tanks [Twitter]

A new batch of US military equipment arrived in Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces’ airbase yesterday, according to Morocco World News.

The shipment of armoured tanks, which are coloured with camouflage specifically for Morocco, is believed to be followed by a delivery of anti-ship missiles later this week. Several other deals have also been signed with US-based weapons manufacturers by Armed Forces Chief Abdelfattah Louarak, which are expected to include air-to-air missiles and fighter jets.

The US remains Morocco’s primary military supplier, providing over half of all military related imports to the country according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US Excess Defence Articles database shows that in 2017 Morocco had requested 222 Abrams tanks and been allocated 162.

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In April, Morocco hosted US forces for joint military exercise, known as African Lion 2018, attended by some 15 states including Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain and Tunisia.

France is Morocco’s second military supplier, with 44 per cent, while Italy is third, according to SIPRI report.

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Morocco also has military ties with Russia, with whom it signed 11 arms deals last year in a ceremony with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia is also the first and main supplier of Morocco’s eastern neighbour, Algeria, which is Africa’s largest importer of military equipment.