Morocco-Israel defence cooperation during African Lion 23

Israeli elite soldiers train on Moroccan soil for the first time

PHOTO/FILE - Ejercicios militares African Lion
photo_camera PHOTO/FILE - African Lion Military Exercises

An elite unit of the Israeli army will take part in the international "African Lion" exercises. This delegation is made up of 12 soldiers and commanders of the elite Israeli unit of the Golani Brigade. The 19th edition is the first time that the Israeli army is taking part, as during the manoeuvres of the previous edition, Israel only participated as an observer country.  

The African Lion is one of the world's largest military exercises organised by the US Africa Command and will take place in Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia from 13 May to 18 June. Eighteen countries and approximately 8,000 troops will participate in the exercises. The countries taking part in the exercises are not only from Africa, but will also receive assistance from countries in Europe and South America. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO- Ejército de Marruecos en una maniobra naval
PHOTO/ARCHIVO- Moroccan Army on a naval manoeuvre

During these two weeks, the exercises will be realistic and dynamic training exercises involving maritime, air, parachute, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response exercises, and three humanitarian civic assistance programme events, as the US government explains in the announcement of the start of the exercises. 

"The US Africa Command-sponsored exercises strengthen partnerships between African, US and other international militaries, increasing interoperability during crises and operations to enhance security and stability in the region. Exercise African Lion strengthens shared defence capabilities and cooperation to counter transnational threats and violent extremist organisations," they announced.  

The Israeli military, in a statement to Al-Ain News, states that, "over the next two weeks, soldiers from the elite Golani Brigade unit will focus on training in various combat challenges that combine infantry combat in an urban environment with the underground combat they specialise in, and will conclude the training with a joint all-army exercise. The exercise aims to strengthen the relationship between the countries and mutual learning between the foreign armies". 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Mosaico con las banderas de Marruecos e Israel, como símbolo de las buenas relaciones existentes
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Mosaic with the flags of Morocco and Israel, as a symbol of the existing good relations

These manoeuvres also aim to consolidate military cooperation between Morocco and the different countries taking part in these exercises, as well as to promote regional security and stability on the continent. In a region where armed conflicts are constantly present, the need for these exercises and for collaboration between the different countries of the African continent is more evident than ever.  

Morocco is one of several Arab countries that have already normalised and established relations with Israel. Following the signing of the Abraham Accords, relations between Morocco and Israel have been strengthened over the years through various agreements, investments and mutual visits, and are at the peak of their relationship. This relationship is reflected in the cooperation demonstrated through these exercises and the interest of both countries in promoting security in the region. 

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