IDF chief to make unprecedented official visit to Morocco

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi will visit Morocco for three days, becoming the first Israeli military officer to visit the kingdom.

 IDF Chief of Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Aviv Kohavi with US CENTCOM general Erik Kurilla. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF Chief of Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Aviv Kohavi with US CENTCOM general Erik Kurilla.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi will be making an official visit to Morocco on Monday for three days, marking the first time that Israel’s top military officer has visited the country.

Jerusalem and Rabat reestablished ties under the Abraham Accords along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

In November, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding that established a solid security cooperation framework formalizing defense relations between them. The MoU allows for increased cooperation in the fields of intelligence, industrial collaboration, military training and more.

Following the signing, relations between the two countries increased tremendously.

In March, IDF Strategy and Third-Circle Division head Maj.-Gen. Tal Kalman, Foreign Relations Division head Brig.-Gen. Efi Dafrin and Operations Division head in the Intelligence Division Brig.-Gen. G. took part in the IDF’s first official visit.

  IDF Chief of Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Aviv Kohavi with US CENTCOM general Erik Kurilla, July 17, 2022.  (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT) IDF Chief of Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Aviv Kohavi with US CENTCOM general Erik Kurilla, July 17, 2022. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

They met with Moroccan military chief Lt.-Gen. Belkhir el-Farouk and senior Moroccan military officers, including the heads of the country’s intelligence and operations directorates in Rabat.

More security collaborations with Morocco?

The IDF staff also discussed the possibility of cooperative efforts with their Moroccan counterparts, including potential collaboration in intelligence and operational training and multinational exercises.

Last month, IDF officers took part in the African Lion military drill alongside the United States, Morocco and several African nations. The head of the Middle East and North Africa Division of the Policy & Political-Military Bureau in the Israel Defense Ministry, who also serves as the defense attaché to Morocco participated in the drill, in addition to two IDF officers.

The drill, which lasted throughout June, included 7,500 personnel from 10 nations, among them Brazil, France and Britain. Observers from NATO were also present – and for the first time, officials from Israel, Ghana and Senegal.

Morocco is also reported to be interested in Israeli weapons systems, including the Barak 8 medium-range surface-to-air missile system.

Manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, it is able to shoot down enemy aircraft at a range of 50-70 kilometers. The system is designed to defend naval vessels against a myriad of short-to-long range airborne threats like incoming missiles, planes and drones at both low or high altitudes.