Israeli air force commander in Morocco to deepen security ties
Morocco normalized ties with Israel in December 2020 after the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords the same year
By News Desk - February 23 2023

Israeli Air Force Commander General Tomer Bar (L) and his Moroccan counterpart General El Abd Bohamid in Morocco
(Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces)

The head of the Israeli Air Force, General Aluf Tomer Bar, arrived in Rabat, Morocco, on 21 February to strengthen bilateral military cooperation between the two countries, according to Anadolu Agency.

Bar met with Brigadier General El Abd Bohamid, inspector of Morocco’s Royal Air Force, Israel Defense Forces deputy spokeswoman Ella Waweya said in a statement.

The Israeli forces shared a picture on social media of the two military leaders shaking hands following their meeting in Rabat. However, the visit was not officially confirmed by Moroccan officials.

The two officials are expected to make field visits to air bases with the aim of “reinforcing cooperation between the two countries, exchange of experience, training, and joint exercises,” explained the same source, who added that Bar is accompanied on his trip by senior military commanders.

Last week, the Royal Moroccan Artillery Inspector, Mohamed Benouali, visited Israel as part of efforts to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.

Military relations between Morocco and Israel were consolidated with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on security matters in November 2021 during Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to Rabat.

“Since the resumption of diplomatic relations and the signing of a defense MoU, the parties have deepened and expanded their defense and military ties as well as the defense-industrial field,” Israel’s defense ministry said at the time.

A month ago, Rabat hosted the first annual defense establishment Steering Committee, during which the two nations decided to strengthen their military ties. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces announced that Israel and Morocco “agreed to further strengthen cooperation and extend it to other areas, including in intelligence, air defense, and electronic warfare.”

In addition to cooperating in the defense-military field, Israel’s NewMed Energy announced last December the signing of an agreement with Adarco Energy and Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines to license offshore natural gas exploration and production in the North African kingdom, according to Middle East Monitor.

Under the terms of the agreements, NewMed and Adarco will each hold a 37.5 percent interest in the Boujdour Atlantique exploration license, located off Morocco’s coast in the Atlantic Ocean. According to Morocco World News, Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines will hold the remaining 25 percent.

The agreements still need to be approved by Morocco’s Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Finance.

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