The month of June 2023 had a busy agenda for relations between Morocco and Israel. Political visits, bilateral project announcements, visa facilitation, worker exchanges, defense discussions and cooperation were carried out throughout the month. Here are the main bilateral events that took place during the past month.
During this month, Morocco hosted a large number of Israeli officials and senior officials, such as Israel’s national security adviser, the speaker of the Knesset, the interior and health minister, the minister Innovation and the Minister for Environmental Protection.
June began on a defense note between the 4th and 18th with the participation for the first time of 12 Israeli soldiers in African Lion, the annual joint military exercise of the United States and Morocco alongside 17 other countries. participated, including those without diplomatic relations with Israel.
On June 7, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita hosted Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi. The latter held a series of meetings focused on strengthening diplomatic relations and security cooperation between Morocco and Israel.
On the same day and until June 8, Israeli Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana arrived in Morocco for the first-ever official visit by an Israeli parliament speaker to Morocco. It was also a first for the Arab world and countries with a Muslim majority.
During this very symbolic visit, the president of the Knesset positioned himself for Israel’s recognition of the Moroccan Sahara.
On June 12, Nasser Bourita participated in the American Jewish Committee’s World Forum and said that the Abraham Accords created “a unique opportunity for peace” and that “bilateral relations with Israel have improved at all levels” .
The next day, an event on strengthening cooperation in the field of water in the framework of the Morocco-Israel partnership was organized by the Center for Jewish Impact and the head of the Moroccan liaison office in Israel.
On June 14, the co-chairman of the Abraham Accords caucus in the Knesset, MK Dan Illouz, spoke at the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Morocco, where he addressed a group in four languages including delegations from other Accord member countries, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, and other Muslim-majority countries. In his speech, he urged parliamentarians around the world to adhere to the Abraham Accords and normalize relations with Israel.
On the same day, the head of the Israeli liaison office in Rabat, Shai Cohen, announced that the Israeli company Elbit Systems plans to open two factories in Casablanca, Morocco, for the production of defense systems.
On June 16, it is the turn of the Israeli Minister of the Interior and Health, Moshe Arbel, to pay a visit to Morocco to sign an agreement with the Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit to relax the requirements in terms of visas and bring Moroccans to Israel to work as nurses and construction workers.
With the Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, a memorandum of understanding was signed to collaborate in several fields of study, such as medical technology, genetics, the fight against non-communicable diseases, the preparation to epidemics and the strategic planning of health systems.
Three days later, Israeli Minister of Innovation Ofir Akunis landed in Morocco to discuss cooperation in the field of Agritech, food security, water and artificial intelligence, with his counterpart Abdellatif Miraoui.
On June 20, a survey conducted by an Emirati public relations agency on young Arabs’ support for normalization with Israel in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, showed that at 50% of young people “strongly support” or “rather support” this decision. The highest figures are in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which reached 75% and 73% respectively.
Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman became the first environment minister to visit Morocco, and was the last Israeli official to visit the Kingdom during the month of June on the 23rd to be exact. She met her Moroccan counterpart Leila Benali and both signed a memorandum of understanding including cooperation measures between research institutions, entrepreneurs and public and private organizations on environmental issues.
Finally, on June 28, the Israeli and Moroccan Defense Ministers, Yoav Gallant and Abdellatif Loudiyi spoke by telephone, among other things, on questions of defense and regional stability and agreed to further deepen cooperation.