Between 2008 and 2018, French arms sales to Morocco exceeded €1.8 billion.
Rabat – The French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly, landed in Rabat on Thursday, February 6, for a series of meetings about bilateral military cooperation with senior Moroccan officials.
The minister’s official visit is the first of its kind in 8 years. The last visit dates back to December 2012, when France’s former Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited Morocco as part of a high-level French delegation.
During her visit, Parly met with Morocco’s Delegate Minister for National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudyi.
The two ministers discussed Moroccan-French bilateral relations in the field of defense as well as regional issues, according to a press release from the French embassy in Rabat.
Parly also met with the General Inspector of Moroccan Armed Forces and Army General, Abdelfattah Louarak, to elaborate new ways to strengthen military cooperation, notes the statement.
According to the same source, the visit “reaffirms France’s interest in reinforcing its cooperation with Morocco in all fields.”
Several senior government and military officials, from both Morocco and France, attended the meetings.
Moroccan-French arms deals
France is one of Morocco’s major partners in the military and security fields.
The first contract regards the purchase of a CAESAR self-propelled howitzer for €170 million, along with additional ammunition for €30 million. Morocco signed the contract with the state-owned weapon manufacturer Nexter.
The second agreement concerns acquiring VL MICA ground missiles from one of the largest missile manufacturers in the world, MBDA, for a price of €200 million.
Morocco is set to unveil the contracts during the upcoming visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to Morocco, on February 12, according to FAR-Maroc, a website specializing in Morocco’s military activities.
The Moroccan Navy has future plans to acquire submarines from the French contractor Naval Group, adds La Tribune.
Between 2008 and 2018, France sold military equipment to Morocco worth more than €1.8 billion. Some of the largest purchases are a FREMM frigate in 2008, from Naval Group, and two spy satellites in 2013, from aerospace companies Airbus and Thales.