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November 24, 2021 11:43 am
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Israel’s Gantz Signs Historic Defense Agreement With Morocco

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of National Defense Abdellatif Loudiyi sign a defense memorandum of understanding, November 24, 2021. Photo: Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Ministry of Defense

Israel and Morocco signed a defense memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, in a major step forward in relations between the two countries and Israel and the greater Arab world.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of National Defense Abdellatif Loudiyi signed the MOU, which formalized defense relations between the two countries, in Morocco during Gantz’s first official visit to the North African nation.

The MOU addressed cooperation on intelligence, industrial collaboration, military training, and other fields, the Israeli government said in a statement.

“It is a very significant development, which will enable us to work on joint projects and promote industrial cooperation,” Gantz said after the signing.

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“Relations between Israel and Morocco should be expanded and enhanced,” he urged.

The agreement was followed by a discussion between Gantz and Loudiyi, during which they both expressed a desire for bilateral cooperation in the face of regional threats.

Earlier on Wednesday, Gantz laid a ceremonial wreath at the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V, grandfather of the current monarch, Muhammad VI. He is set to meet with Morocco’s military chief and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita before returning to Israel on Thursday.

Israel and Morocco normalized relations in Dec. 2020 in the context of the Abraham Accords following two decades of estrangement. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated Israel’s first diplomatic office in Morocco in August, the first such visit since 2003.

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