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December 8 2021 10:37 AM ˚
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Israel, Morocco sign security deal as minister visits

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Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita (C) receives Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz (2nd-L) in the capital Rabat on November 24, 2021. FADEL SENNA / AFP
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RABAT — Israel and Morocco signed a security agreement Wednesday making it easier for Rabat to acquire high-tech exports from Israel's defense industry, as the countries expand ties following their normalization deal last year.اضافة اعلان

The memorandum of understanding signed in Rabat by visiting Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Morocco's minister in charge of defense administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi, was "unprecedented" for Israel, an Israeli official said. 

Israel has several security accords with allied nations, but the Morocco deal marks the first-of-its-kind agreement with a majority Arab nation, the official said, asking not to be named.

Israel has full diplomatic relations with only four other Arab countries: Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Bahrain. 

The Morocco deal came as Gantz made the first visit by an Israeli defense minister to the North African kingdom. 

Gantz said the deal "will enable Israeli exports here (to Morocco)".
One Israeli product, the NSO's Pegasus spyware, has already made its way to Morocco, according to Amnesty International and Paris-based organization Forbidden Stories.

Rabat allegedly used it against French President Emmanuel Macron — a claim denied by Morocco which said it never bought the software and has filed lawsuits against French media and Amnesty.
An Israeli defense official stressed that "relations with Morocco were not based on arms sales" alone.

In Morocco, Israel was eyeing "long-term bonds that are a cornerstone of Israeli security", the official said.

A Moroccan government statement said agreements had been signed in areas of defense and "cybersecurity,” and that both sides had "a common interest to consolidate relations."


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