Kobi Shabtai, during his mandate as the commander of the Border Police, on September 28, 2017 (Photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai landed in Morocco on 1 August for his first official visit to the north African country.
Commissioner Shabtai will be accompanied by the head of Israel’s Intelligence Division (Aman) and the head of the Foreign Relations Unit, according to Hebrew media outlet i24NEWS.
During his five-day stay, Shabtai will tour a number of police and security facilities and meet with senior Moroccan police officials from the General Directorate for National Security.
“The police commissioner and senior Moroccan officials will discuss bolstering operational, intelligence, and investigative cooperation in order to strengthen the relationship between the countries and the police,” a statement from the police said.
Shabtai will meet with representatives of the Moroccan Jewish community and lay a wreath at the mausoleum in Rabat, which serves as the final resting place for Moroccan monarchs and sultans.
Aman is the central military intelligence body of the Israeli army and works in parallel with other intelligence units to gather intel on Israel’s adversaries.
רנ"צ יעקב שבתאי המריא היום לביקור רשמי ראשון של מפכ"ל משטרת ישראל במרוקו. המפכ"ל ייפגש עם בכירי משטרת מרוקו והמשרד לביטחון לאומי, וידון עם מקביליו על חיזוק שיתופי הפעולה המבצעיים, המודיעיניים והחקירתיים, במטרה לחזק את הקשר בין המדינות והמשטרות
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) August 1, 2022
Israel and Morocco normalized ties in December 2020, as part of the US-sponsored Abraham Accords, which saw a number of Arab states normalize relations with Tel Aviv, including the UAE and Bahrain.
However, the secret ties between Morocco and Israel are decades old and manifested in the warm relationship between both states after 2020.
On 18 July, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi visited Morocco on a three-day trip for the first official visit of an Israeli army chief to the kingdom.
Additionally, Prime Minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco in July 2021, and was followed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz a few months later in November 2021.
Morocco and Israel continue to deepen their ties, on par with the relationship between Israel and the UAE, despite popular disapproval of the normalization of ties with Israel.