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Morocco becomes the first Arab state to sign an open Defence Agreement with Israel

The Kingdom of Morocco signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel to establish an open defence agreement on November 24, 2021, making it the only country in the Arab world to sign a formal defence deal with Israel. Morocco?s relationship with Israel is historic and culturally rich, and officially, its diplomatic relationship was initiated soon after signing the Oslo Accords[1] in 1993 at a very low-key level. However, the relationship broke after the Al-Aqsa Intifada of 2000.[2] After two decades, the Abraham Accord came into force on August 13, 2020, which led to the signing of the Normalisation Agreement on December 10, 2020, with Israel. The current defence agreement is the outcome of the Normalisation Agreement. The agreement aimed to advance the national security agendas of both countries to counter the threats of terrorism and radicalisation. However, the defence agreement has generated mixed responses from the region. This paper assesses the defence cooperation agreement between Israel and Morocco and its regional security implications.The Defence AgreementThe Defence Minister of Israel, Benny Gantz, became the first Israeli minister to visit Morocco on November 24, 2021. During his visit, Gantz signed the MoU with Morocco?s Defence Minister Abdellatif Loudiyi to establish military relations. The MoU diversified the bilateral relationship to also include defence cooperation, arms sales, joint exercises, and intelligence sharing. In a statement given to the media, Gantz stated that the agreement was ?very significant and will allow us to exchange ideas, enter joint projects, and enable



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