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Mixed reports over Israel participation military exercise in Morocco

June 23, 2022 at 11:31 am

Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita (R) shakes hands with Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz (L) in the capital Rabat on 24 November 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]

Mixed reports have surfaced in recent days over Israel’s participation as an “observer” in the annual “African Lion 2022” military exercise which kicked off on Monday in the Moroccan city of Agadir.

On Tuesday, Euronews reported that the military drill, which mobilises more than 7,500 soldiers from ten countries, including Brazil, Chad, France and the United Kingdom, will be attended by observers from NATO and 15 “partner countries” including, for the first time, Israel.

Meanwhile, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the exercise is led by the US Army Southern European Task Force, Africa and will take place in four countries; Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, adding that militaries from Brazil, Chad, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom will join US and host nation troops.

Neither Israel nor Morocco commented on the media reports.

However, a Moroccan specialist in history and anthropology and a military expert, Mohamed Choucair, ruled out Tel Aviv’s participation in the drill saying, neither the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces or AFRICOM websites referred to this participation.

Choucair pointed out that European media reports that referred to Israel’s participation did not indicate the source of the information.

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