Morocco has broached buying Israeli-made pilotless planes and anti-missile systems, and commissioning an Israeli upgrade of some of its fighter jets, Israel's public broadcaster KAN reported on Thursday after the countries signed a defense pact.
Moroccan and Israeli officials had no immediate comment.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in Rabat to sign the memorandum of understanding, said in an Op-Ed published by two local dailies that it would help the countries fend off "extremist terror as well as border and air threats."
רגע אחד שריגש אותי במיוחד בביקור במרוקו: תפילת מי שברך לחיילי צה׳׳ל בבית הכנסת ברבאט pic.twitter.com/aRx5huPAUx— בני גנץ - Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) November 25, 2021
The historic memorandum of understanding between Israel and Morocco was signed by Gantz and his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi on Wednesday and sets a solid security cooperation framework that formalizes defense relations between the two countries, allowing for increased cooperation in the fields of intelligence, industrial collaboration, military training and more.
“We have just signed a defense cooperation MOU with Morocco. It is a very significant development, which will enable us to work on joint projects and promote industrial cooperation,” Gantz said at the time, adding that “relations between Israel and Morocco should be expanded and enhanced.”
During the meeting between the two defense ministers, Gantz also reiterated the importance of enhanced bilateral cooperation in light of developing threats in the Middle East and North Africa and expressed hope that there would be more countries that would sign normalization agreements with Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry said that “the agreement is a significant step in the deepening relations of Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco, which already benefit from increased economic cooperation, bilateral tourism, and warm people-to-people relations.”
This is a developing story.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.