Gantz jets off to Morocco to formalize defense ties

'We will continue to strengthen bilateral ties,' defense chief says at Ben Gurion Airport before departure, set to meet with Moroccan counterpart, foreign minister and military chief upon arrival in Rabat

Defense Minister Benny Gantz traveled to Morocco on Tuesday evening in a first-of-its-kind visit by an Israeli defense chief, aimed at strengthening security cooperation between the two countries.
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  • "This is an important and historic visit," Gantz told the press before he boarded an El Al flight at Ben Gurion Airport.
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    בני גנץ
    בני גנץ
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: AFP)
    "This is the first formal visit by a defense minister to this country. We will continue to strengthen bilateral ties. It is eminently important that we have a successful journey."
    Upon his arrival in Rabat, Gantz will hold a number of high-level meetings with his Moroccan counterpart, as well as the north African nation's foreign minister and its military chief, among other dignitaries. The defense minister is scheduled to sign a number of defense-related agreements.
    The two-day trip comes less than a year after Jerusalem and Rabat agreed to normalize diplomatic ties in a deal brokered by former U.S. president Donald Trump's administration.
    In return, Washington recognized the North African kingdom's sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
    2 View gallery
    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש ברבאט עם שר החוץ של מרוקו, נאסר בוריטה
    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש ברבאט עם שר החוץ של מרוקו, נאסר בוריטה
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita during a visit to Rabat, August 12, 2021
    (Photo: AP)
    Morocco controls most of Western Sahara and considers the former Spanish colony as its sovereign territory.
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid traveled to Morocco in August to inaugurate Israel's diplomatic representation in Raba in the first visit to the country by an Israeli minister since 2003.

    AFP contributed to this article.
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