Israel-Morocco ties strengthen with signing of first cyber-defense deal

July 17, 2021

By Tovah Lazaroff

Israel and Morocco have signed their first-ever cyberdefense accord in a signal that fledgling official relations between the two countries have continued to advance.

Israel National Cyber Directorate Yigal Unna signed a deal this past week in Rabat with his Moroccan counterpart Gen. El Mostafa Rabii and Morocco’s Minister Delegate in charge of National Defense Administration Abdellatif Loudiyi.

The Defense Ministry was also involved in the deal.

“The accord is for operational cooperation, research and development and the sharing of information and knowledge,” the Foreign Ministry said.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that he had “a long and warm conversation” with his counterpart Nasser Bourita.

“A direct connection between the countries and their peoples, is a top Israeli priority.

“We will continue to work to strengthen relations between the countries by building joint economic, technological, cultural and tourism collaborations.”

Unna’s visit to Rabat follows that of Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz, where he met with Bourita and invited him for a first visit to Israel.

Airlines from both countries are also expected to launch direct flights this month.

Israel and Morocco have long held secret ties, but have only held low-level diplomatic ones from 1994-2000.

Last year, the two reestablished ties at a higher level, under the rubric of the Abraham Accords in which the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan also normalized relations with Israel.

The accords were brokered by former US President Donald Trump, but have continued to advance under the Biden administration.

This week, as a sign of its deepening ties with Israel, the UAE opened its first embassy in Tel Aviv.


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