Morocco and Israel sign very first defense agreement in Rabat | New

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A memorandum of understanding formalized security cooperation between Morocco and Israel after the Abrahamic accords.

Israel and Morocco signed a landmark agreement that lays the foundation for security cooperation, intelligence sharing and future arms sales.

The memorandum of understanding between Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi was signed in Rabat on Wednesday, as part of the first official visit by an Israeli defense minister to one of the Arab states who normalized their relationships last year.

Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have signed agreements to normalize relations with Israel in 2020 under the Abraham Accords, negotiated by the Trump administration.

In a statement, Gantz said the agreement was “very important and will allow us to exchange ideas, enter into joint projects and enable Israeli military exports here.”

Gantz also met with the Moroccan army chief of staff and was greeted by a colored guard made up of soldiers dressed in red tunics, blue pants and shiny gold epaulettes.

Israel and Morocco maintained low-level diplomatic relations in the 1990s, but Morocco severed them after a Palestinian uprising broke out in 2000. Despite this, the two states have maintained informal relations.

Nearly half a million Israelis claim Moroccan heritage, as more than 200,000 immigrated to Israel after the state was founded in 1948.

Morocco is still home to a small Jewish community and Rabat has a remaining synagogue, which Gantz will visit at the end of his two-day trip.

In exchange for the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel in December 2020, the Trump administration has promised to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed territory in North Africa.

The announcement upset decades of US policy and the international consensus that the status of Western Sahara should be settled by a UN referendum.

The Abraham Accords shattered a long-standing consensus among Arab states that normalization with Israel comes only as part of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians view the agreements as a betrayal that has eroded their influence over Israel.


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