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Morocco is 'interested' in establishing joint projects with Israel in the defence industries

US army soldiers and Moroccan forces during a military exercise on 18 June 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]
Moroccan forces during a military exercise on 18 June 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]

The Moroccan army announced yesterday its interest in establishing joint projects with Israel in the field of defence.

A statement issued by the General Command of the Royal Armed Forces in Morocco said: "In the field of defence, and in the context of laying the foundations of the local defence industry, [the Minister in charge of the National Defence Administration, Abdellatif] Loudiyi confirmed the country's interest in establishing joint projects in the field of defence industries in Morocco."

The statement was issued after a meeting between Loudiyi and Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who has been visiting Rabat since Monday.

It added that "this visit comes to enhance bilateral cooperation in the context of the historic agreement signed by King Mohammed VI between Morocco, Israel and the US on December 22, 2020, on a memorandum of understanding related to defence cooperation between the Israeli and Moroccan ministries of defence."

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"Under the leadership of the King, there has been firm management of security challenges and the Covid-19 pandemic, and many initiatives were launched aimed at bringing peoples together to serve the goals of peace and stability in the Middle East," noted the statement.

In the statement, the leadership pointed out that Moroccan and Israeli officials praised "the quality and dynamism that characterises bilateral military cooperation."

The two officials reiterated their common ambition and desire to strengthen these relations to serve the goals of peace and stability in the region, according to the statement.

At the end of November 2021, Israel and Morocco signed a security memorandum of understanding during the first visit of Defence Minister Benny Gantz to Rabat, with the aim of putting in place intelligence cooperation, security procurement and joint training.

At the time, the Times of Israel news website said that this was the first agreement of its kind between Tel Aviv and any Arab country.

This comes after Israel and Morocco announced the resumption of diplomatic relations in December 2020. Morocco is the fourth Arab country to agree to normalisation with the occupation state of Israel in 2020, after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, while Egypt and Jordan signed peace agreements with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

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