In Historic Visit, Gantz Signs Israel’s First Defense MOU With Arab State

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz shakes hands with his Moroccan counterpart, Abdellatif Loudiyi, after signing a memorandum of understanding at the Moroccan Defense Ministry in Rabat on November 24, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a historic defense memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Morocco on Wednesday, the first agreement of its kind between Israel and an Arab state.

Gantz met with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi in Rabat on Wednesday to sign the agreement after flying to Morocco on Tuesday night.

“[The agreement] enables the start of official security cooperation between the two [countries],” the Defense Ministry stated. “It includes formalizing intelligence-sharing and will allow for ties between their defense industries, defense procurement and joint exercises.”

Gantz meets his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi, at the Moroccan Defense Ministry in Rabat on November 24, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

Earlier on Wednesday, Gantz visited the Tomb of Muhammad V and Hassan II, the grandfather and father of the current king, Muhammad VI.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, center, visits the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V, in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, Nov. 24 2021. Israel and Morocco signed a landmark agreement Wednesday that lays the foundation for security cooperation, intelligence sharing, and future arms sales. (AP Photo/Ilan Ben Zion)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, center, visits the Tomb of Moroccan King Muhammad V in Rabat on November 24, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

Gantz’s visit is not only the first trip by an Israeli defense minister to Morocco but it is the first visit by IDF soldiers in uniform to visit the country. Three IDF soldiers, including two with Moroccan-born parents, were part of the trip’s delegation – Gatz’s military secretary, Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf, and Col. Noam Arbelie.

IDF soldiers Col. Noam Arbeli (L.) and Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf (M.), both of Moroccan extraction, in front of the Tomb of Moroccan King Muhammad V in Rabat on November 24, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)