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May 30
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Morocco has joined the club of drone manufacturers thanks to a recent deal struck with Israel under which Morocco will produce Israeli combat drones.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Morocco's Royal Armed Forces will build two factories to produce combat drones under Israeli supervision and expertise. This will allow the kingdom to produce advanced drones at a low cost compared to those it currently buys from China and Turkey.

Under a military agreement signed last July between Morocco and Israel, Tel Aviv pledged to transfer drone production technology to Rabat. With Tel Aviv's support, these drones will be produced at a lower cost at two military bases in Morocco.

According to Israeli military sources, the combat drones, which will be produced in Morocco within a few months, will enable surveillance missions, remote intelligence gathering and participation in combat operations.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported that Morocco has become the first African country to produce drones.

Morocco has bought drones from several countries such as China, Turkey, France and Israel, creating a de facto fleet and possibly the most advanced in North Africa. But Rabat's ambitions are no longer limited to purchases; rather, it seeks to produce drones in Moroccan territories with Israel's help.

Morocco and Israel resumed diplomatic relations in late 2020 as part of a trilateral agreement in which the US recognized Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara, disputed by the Algerian-backed Frente Polisario.

Israel and Morocco strengthened their military cooperation in talks held in Rabat in July by Aviv Kohavi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, with several senior officials in the kingdom.

The pace of rapprochement between Morocco and Israel accelerated after the diplomatic normalization that took place in December 2020 as part of the Abrahamic Accords, which were negotiated between Israel and several Arab countries with the support of Washington.

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