Morocco and Israel signed an agreement on security cooperation on Wednesday. As reported by Israeli Defense Minister Beni Ganc, the agreement covers security “in all its aspects”, including operational planning and weapons purchases. According to the Spanish newspaper El Publico, Morocco is using ties with the US and Israel to perpetuate the occupation of Western Sahara.
Israeli Defense Minister Beni Ganc, who was in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Wednesday, spoke of an “unprecedented” deal. As he pointed out, the agreement covers security “in all its aspects”, that is, operational planning, weapons purchases, research and military training. Thanks to the agreement, in the opinion of the Israeli defense minister, Morocco will be able to use technologies used by “Israel’s powerful military industry”.
– This is a very important step that will allow us (…) to launch joint projects and promote Israeli exports, said Ganc, referring to the fact that Israel is one of the world’s leading exporters of armed drones and spyware, such as the controversial Pegasus by NSO.
Morocco and Israel established diplomatic ties in the early 1990s, but Rabat severed them at the start of the Second Intifada, the Palestinian uprising of the beginning of the 21st century. “Rabat accepted a referendum in 1991, but then withdrew from this decision and resettled the Moroccan population to Western Sahara, where he also runs various operational projects,” writes the Spanish daily El Publico.
In December 2020, relations between the two countries were renewed under the so-called Abraham’s Agreements, the process of normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries, supported by the administration of former US President Donald Trump. In return, Washington recognized Morocco’s “full sovereignty” over the Western Sahara, a territory in dispute with the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front, backed by Algeria.
Washington recognizes Morocco’s “full sovereignty” over the Western Sahara
US President Joe Biden considers Morocco the guarantor of stability in the region, and Rabat’s plan to grant autonomy to Western Sahara as “serious, credible and realistic,” says El Publico, according to whom Biden’s Middle Eastern policy is the same as Trump’s, although Democrats criticized her during the election campaign. “Biden has shown that from Iran to Western Sahara, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is not able to solve the region’s problems and pursue a constructive policy in line with the elementary principles of justice” – assessed the daily.
“His vision may be acceptable in the short term, but it will create deep conflicts in the medium and long term that will be particularly damaging to Europe,” warned El Publico. The daily recalled that Front Polisario is in favor of holding a referendum on the self-determination of Western Sahara proposed by the United Nations, and that this position is supported by Algeria, Spain and other European countries.
Meanwhile, the problem of Western Sahara implies a fight for regional hegemony between Algeria and Morocco. In this fight, the United States and Israel are most likely on the side of Morocco not only for political but also for military reasons – assessed the daily, citing the visit that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Ganc has been paying in Rabat since Tuesday to “promote military relations between the two countries “.
Morocco’s conflict with Europe over Western Sahara
This situation worries not only the inhabitants of Western Sahara, but also other countries in the region, such as Algeria and Spain, the daily assessed. According to El Publico, the conflict in Western Sahara resembles the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
“These are two conflicts to which there are international resolutions, but neither Morocco nor Israel want to comply with them. A fair resolution of these conflicts should be a priority for Europe, but it is not on the agenda of Germany or France” – wrote “El Publico “.
Meanwhile, Morocco, thanks to the support of the US and Israel, feels strong enough to stand up to the European Union. Rabat has been interrupting the dialogue with European countries for many months, if it is somehow related to the issue of Western Sahara. According to El Publico, Rabat may forgo good relations with Europe if it does not recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
The spokesman of the European Commission, Nabila Massrali, previously referred to the conflict over Western Sahara, assuring that Brussels’ position on this issue remains the same as that of Spain, France and Germany, i.e. she supports the return to negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations.
Main photo source: Reuters