Several meetings are taking place in Rabat this week with the aim of strengthening ties between Morocco and Israel. First of all, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita received in the capital the Israeli National Security Advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi, with whom he discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation, as reported by Moroccan media.
Hanegbi, who has also served as Minister of Health, Environment and Transport, has overseen the Israeli intelligence agencies Mossad and Shin Bet and is considered an expert on Iran's nuclear programme, according to The Times of Israel.
In addition to Israel's National Security Advisor, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana is also in Morocco with the aim of strengthening the partnership between the two countries. The visit by Moroccan-born Ohana - a member of the Linkud - has been described as "historic" as he is the first Israeli parliamentary speaker to travel to a Muslim country.
Ohana received an invitation from his Moroccan counterpart, Rachid Talbi Alami, with whom he is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop parliamentary collaboration between the two nations. Ohana will also meet with Nordine Elhrouchi, head of the Israel-Morocco parliamentary friendship group, several MPs from the Kingdom and members of the local Jewish community, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.
🇲🇦🇮🇱| Amir Ohana, président du Parlement Israélien :— Morocco Intelligence (@MoroccoIntel) June 5, 2023
« Grâce au leadership révolutionnaire du Roi Mohammed VI du Maroc, cette visite est possible. Le rêve de paix avec les pays musulmans bat dans nos cœurs depuis de nombreuses années.
Et quelle coïncidence que le Maroc soit le… pic.twitter.com/cISyZY0MFk
"We are making history by announcing the strengthening of ties between the countries, the closeness between the two peoples and the widening of the circle of peace," Ohana said in a statement. The Knesset Speaker thanked and highlighted the "innovative leadership of King Mohammed VI", who made this visit possible. "The dream of peace with Muslim countries has always been in our hearts," Ohana added.
These two visits coincide with the Israeli army's recent announcement that twelve soldiers and commanders from the Golani unit will participate in the 'African Lion 2023' exercises, a military manoeuvre in Morocco in which 18 countries are taking part.
🇲🇦🇮🇱🪖| C'est la première fois que que l'armée israélienne prend une part active à ces manœuvres internationales sur le sol marocain.— Moroccan History 🇲🇦۞ (@MoroccanSories) June 6, 2023
Israel participera activement à l'exercice African Lion 2023 comparé à l'année dernière où elle était observatrice. pic.twitter.com/5ivbuVycwZ
Hanegbi and Ohana are not the only high-ranking Israeli officials to visit Morocco this week. As Le Desk reports, Health Minister Moshe Arbel is also expected to travel to Rabat in the near future.
Since the re-establishment of relations in 2020 thanks to the Abraham Accords, Morocco and Israel have expanded cooperation in various fields such as security, tourism, defence and trade, becoming an example of partnership in the region.