Israel, Morocco signs First-Ever Defense Memorandum of Understanding

Israel’s defense minister met with his Moroccan counterpart on Wednesday to formalize security cooperation aimed at bolstering ties between the two countries.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a memorandum of understanding with his Moroccan counterpart on Wednesday, the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab state ever, The Times of Israel reported.

With the signing of the MOU, the two countries’ defense ministries and militaries can more easily speak with one another and share intelligence, whereas in the past, such communication was only possible through their respective intelligence services, according to the times.

The two day official visit of Gantz comes after Morocco normalized ties with Israel in a deal brokered by the US former government last year.

In return, Washington recognized the North African kingdom’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

“We have just now signed an agreement for military cooperation — with all that that implies — with the nation of Morocco. This is a highly significant event that will allow us to enter into joint projects and allow Israeli [defense] exports here. I think the ties between Morocco and Israel need to continue to get closer, to continue to develop and expand, and I am glad that we have a part to play in that,” Gantz said after the signing.

Since normalization of ties, Jerusalem and Rabat have signed a number of memorandum of understanding on issues including civil aviation, petroleum drilling, water resource research and finance.

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