Israel-Morocco Ties Deepen as Lapid Prepares for Rabat Trip
i24 News – In the wake of the signing of the Abraham Accords last year, Israel’s renewed diplomatic relationship with Morocco appears to be bearing fruit, as a raft of cooperation agreements between the two countries are reportedly in the pipeline.
In July, Israel and Morocco signed a cybersecurity cooperation agreement, which was the first time the two countries had reached a deal on anything since the renewal of ties, according to Israeli outlet Globes.
The foundations for that signing were laid after Foreign Affairs Ministry director-general Alon Ushpiz’s recent trip, which mapped out the required steps to promote economic and trade cooperation.
Economy Minister Orna Barbivay is also expected to visit Morocco in the coming weeks at the head of a delegation of businesspeople and industrialists, reported Globes.
The cybersecurity deal is not thought to relate to the recent furor over Morocco’s alleged use of Israeli company NSO’s Pegasus spyware, in which the government supposedly spied on political opponents and surveilled one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s cell phones.
Despite Israel and Morocco signing last years’ accord, Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani, head of the Islamic Justice and Development Party and a supporter of the Palestinian cause, said that he would not be meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during his visit to Morocco.
While trade between the two countries will likely not reach the financial heights of what could be achieved with the UAE, the Israel Export Institute estimated that there was a $250 million potential of exports from Israel to the North African kingdom.