Algeria is becoming skittish about Morocco’s geo-military relations, according to reports by AP and the Spanish press which monitor such matters.
New Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen discussed the future of the Abraham Accords and “the Iranian threat” with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on January 2nd an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Since Algeria’s decision to sever diplomatic relations with Morocco in August 2021, the kingdom has missed no opportunity to call for the easing of tensions which reached fever pitch recently when a massive military exercise planned by Algeria along its border almost went ahead.
But Algeria fears that Morocco will try to leverage its new relations with Israel – a country which makes sophisticated arms like drones – to take a tough stance against it (and the Polisario Front) should tensions escalate. EL Watan, a leading Algerian journal, reminds its readers that this Israeli-Moroccan alliance is not new, recalling that during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, “Rabat authorized American planes to stop over in Kenitra before resuming their flights to the territory Israeli, at a time when no European country had accepted”.
Recent purchases of Turkish drones by Algeria, which is one of Russia’s main arms customers, suggest that the country is concerned about the partnership between Morocco and Israel and the kingdom’s constant efforts to strengthen and modernize his army, Spanish website Atalayar reports . “Morocco’s access to Israeli technology, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), allows it to further strengthen its military capabilities,” a report said.
In August 2022, the Algerian broadsheet though raised concerns about a report by the Israeli television channel i24News according to which “Tel-Aviv will build, in the south of Morocco, two drone manufacturing plants” and will also equip the kingdom with the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system, “an American system produced exclusively for the Israeli army”.
Morocco finds itself part of an arms race with Israel against Iran. Indeed, even Cohen underlined this with his meeting with Blinken.
The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated his country’s commitment to “combat the Iranian threat”.