Tuesday, August 16, 2022 | Muharram 17, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Top general to explore defence deals in Morocco

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The chief of Israel's armed forces will visit Morocco on Monday in the highest-profile military engagement between the countries, which upgraded ties in 2020 under a US diplomatic drive.


While Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi's trip has been showcased by Israel as part of emerging defence cooperation with the North African country, Rabat has also been trying to broker improved conditions for the Palestinians.


"One of the subjects that will be discussed (in Morocco) this week will be knowledge-sharing, training — the ability to train together in joint manoeuvres — weapons development, the transfer of know-how and perhaps also of weaponry'', Israeli military spokesman Brigadier-General Ran Kochav told Ynet TV.


Israel and Morocco established low-level relations in the 1990s but these had been suspended after a Palestinian uprising against Israel erupted in 2000. The upgrade of ties in 2020, which remains short of full normalisation, has brought direct flights between the countries and a range of bilateral deals.


"Not everything is about security'', Israeli Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli told Reuters about ties with Morocco. "There are wide interests that we have together and we share."


She credited Morocco with mediating a deal to permanently open a border crossing from Jordan to the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is important for Palestinian traffic, and said she was in talks with Rabat about other infrastructure projects.


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