Defense Minister Benny Gantz during his visit to Morocco on Wednesday

In Morocco op-ed, Gantz calls to ‘work together to counter developing threats’

In editorial published in Arabic and French papers, defense minister lauds normalization processes with Jerusalem's Muslim neighbors, calling on further cooperation to counteract 'Iranian aggression' in the region and its nuclear aspirations

TPS |
Published: 11.25.21, 13:00
In an opinion piece published in Moroccan media, Defense Minister Benny Gantz lauded Israel’s normalization processes with its Muslim neighbors and warned of Iran’s threat to these developments.
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  • The editorial, published in the French language magazine “L’Observateur Du Maroc” and in the Arabic newspaper “Ahdath Maghrebia”, comes during Gantz's landmark two-day visit to the north African kingdom, the first official visit by an Israeli defense minister.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בני גנץ בביקור מדיני במרוקו עם שר ההגנה המרוקאי עבד אל-לטיף
    בני גנץ בביקור מדיני במרוקו עם שר ההגנה המרוקאי עבד אל-לטיף
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz during his visit to Morocco on Wednesday
    (Photo: Defense Ministry)
    As IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, I fought in dozens of military operations, but I never forgot that the most important battle of all is the battle for peace and stability," he wrote.
    “This can only be achieved if we stay strong, strengthen our relations with our allies. Considering the recent positive developments, I am confident that we will work with our Moroccan friends, and with the leadership of our great ally the United States, to strengthen Israel’s relations with Jordan, Egypt, the members of the Abraham Accords, new partners in the region as well as with our Palestinian neighbors,” he said.
    Gantz and his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi signed a historic Defense Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday that “provides a solid framework that formalizes defense relations between the countries and establishes a foundation that will support any future cooperation.”
    Gantz touched on the importance of bilateral relations and noted that “after years of informal cooperation for the prevention of terrorism, this week, we have taken a historic step in the ties between Israel and Morocco, formalizing our defense relations” by signing the MOU which “establishes a framework from which we can develop cooperation in counterterrorism, intelligence-sharing, military training, professional working groups and industrial collaboration.”
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בני גנץ בביקור מדיני במרוקו עם שר ההגנה המרוקאי עבד אל-לטיף
    בני גנץ בביקור מדיני במרוקו עם שר ההגנה המרוקאי עבד אל-לטיף
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi, after signing a memorandum of understanding between the two countries at the Moroccan Defense Ministry in Rabat
    (Photo: Defense Mnister)
    “More importantly, this agreement acknowledges our shared vision of peace and stability for our people, for the region, for the world,” he underscored.
    “Our partnership is vital against the challenges that threaten regional and global peace. Both our countries face the challenges of fundamentalist terrorism, border, and aerial threats. The framework that we have determined in the MOU will provide us the means to cooperate in order to defend our nations,” he wrote.
    Turning to Israel’s biggest security challenge, Gantz pointed out that Israel “is particularly concerned by Iran’s regional aggression and its nuclear aspirations. I am taking this opportunity to emphasize the importance for global action against Iran – as it is not just a challenge for Israel. It is first and foremost a global and regional challenge.”
    He concluded the piece with a message for the future: “Israel and Morocco are celebrating the history of our shared communities. Our tourism is flourishing, and people-to-people relations are growing. Our economic cooperation is bearing fruit for both our nations. Now is the time to work together to counter developing threats, to ensure that our nations can prosper in peace and stability.”
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בני גנץ בביקור במאוזוליאום במרוקו
    בני גנץ בביקור במאוזוליאום במרוקו
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the Tomb of Moroccan King Muhammad V in Rabat
    (Photo: Defense Ministry)
    Morocco was the fourth country to join the Abraham Accords with Israel. The two countries announced the normalization of relations in December 2020.
    Relations between Iran and Morocco are mostly non-existent, and on several occasions, the two countries have mostly or completely severed diplomatic relations.
    In May 2018, Morocco cut its diplomatic ties with Iran with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita accusing Iran of providing financial and logistical support to the Shi'ite Polisario Front through its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah and the Iranian embassy in Algeria.
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