Representatives from the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli Defense Ministry took part for the first time in a military exercise held in Morocco, the Defense Ministry announced on Sunday.

The Israeli representatives acted as observers in the “African Lion 2022” exercise, which was led last week by the United States Africa Command and the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces. It is the largest annual exercise held by both militaries in Africa, according to the Defense Ministry.

“Israel’s participation in the exercise is an additional step in strengthening the security relations between the two countries’ Defense Ministries and militaries,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The security and defense ties between the countries are part of a wide and well-developed range of connections in the fields of economy, culture, education, athletics and more,” the statement continued.

In February, Israei media reported that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) would supply  the Moroccan military with Barak MX air- and missile-defense systems in a deal worth more than $500 million.

In November 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the North African country, signing a memorandum of understanding with his Moroccan counterpart during the visit.

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