A memorandum of understanding formalized security cooperation between Morocco and Israel following the Abrahamic agreement.
Israel and Morocco have signed a landmark agreement that lays the groundwork 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 that normalized ties last year.
Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have signed agreements to normalize relationships with Israel in 2020 as part of the Abraham agreements, mediated by the Trump administration.
In a statement, Gantz said the agreement was “very meaningful and will allow us to exchange ideas, undertake joint projects and enable Israeli military exports here.”
Gantz also met with the Moroccan military chief of staff and was greeted by a color guard of soldiers dressed in red tunics, blue trousers and shiny gold epaulettes.
Israel and Morocco enjoyed low-level diplomatic relations in the 1990s, but Morocco severed them after a Palestinian uprising broke out in 2000. Despite this, the two states maintained informal relations.
Nearly half a million Israelis claim Moroccan heritage as more than 200,000 emigrated to Israel after the establishment of the state in 1948.
Morocco is still home to a small Jewish community, and Rabat has one remaining synagogue, where Gantz will visit at the end of his two-day trip.
In exchange for Morocco normalizing relations with Israel in December 2020, the Trump administration has promised to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed North African territory.
The announcement upset decades of US policy and international consensus Western Sahara status must be decided by a UN referendum.
The Abrahamic agreements broke a long-standing consensus among Arab states normalization with Israel takes place only as part of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinians view the agreements as a betrayal that erodes their leverage with Israel.