Morocco and Israel agree to cooperate closely on cybersecurity issues

The two countries continue to strengthen ties after the political agreement reached which involved US support for the North African country over the Sahara and, at the same time, the establishment of links between the Kingdom and the Israeli state
Yigal Unna, Director General of Israel's Cyber Directorate, General El Mostafa Rabii, Director of the Cyber Security Directorate of Morocco's Department of National Defence, and Moroccan Defence Minister Abdellatif Loudiyi sign a cyber security agreement in Rabat (Courtesy)

 -   Yigal Unna, Director General of Israel's Cyber Directorate, General El Mostafa Rabii, Director of the Cyber Security Directorate of Morocco's Department of National Defence, and Moroccan Defence Minister Abdellatif Loudiyi sign a cyber security agreement in Rabat (Courtesy)

Rabat was the scene of the signing of an agreement between Morocco and Israel committing the two countries to deep collaboration in the field of cybersecurity and research and development, as announced by the Israeli National Cyber Directorate.

This pact is the first agreement sealed in the field of cyberdefence since the historic political rapprochement between Morocco and the State of Israel following the agreement at the end of last year by which the previous US administration of Donald Trump supported the formula proposed by Morocco to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara, which includes broad autonomy for the Sahrawi region under Moroccan sovereignty, something ratified by Joe Biden's new US administration, and an agreement whereby the Alawi kingdom would also establish diplomatic relations with Israel. This was another major step forward in the rapprochement between the Jewish state and various Arab countries under the aegis of the US giant, whose greatest exponent was the famous Abraham Accords, under which the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain established diplomatic ties with Israel.

The cyber security agreement between the North African nation and the Jewish country was signed in Rabat this week with the participation of Yigal Unna, director general of Israel's Cyber Directorate, General El Mostafa Rabii, director of the Cyber Security Directorate of Morocco's Department of National Defence, and Moroccan Defence Minister Abdellatif Loudiyi.

The pact includes important advances in operational cooperation, research and development (R&D) and the exchange of information and knowledge, as confirmed by Israel's own National Cyber Directorate and also reported by The Times of Israel; and also signifies an important step forward in bilateral relations between the two nations after the political and diplomatic understanding brought about by US mediation. Previously, there had already been consensual proposals on military matters, and now comes progress in very important areas such as defence and electronic warfare. 

The cyber-security pact was made possible by diplomatic contacts made during a recent visit to Morocco by the director general of Israel's foreign ministry, Alon Ushpiz, on Tuesday 6 July. The trip was agreed during a conversation between the two countries' diplomatic chiefs, Yaïr Lapid and Nasser Bourita.