Rabat – The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, received Thursday in Rabat the Chief of Staff of the French Armies, General Francois Lecointre, to explore ways to improve military cooperation between Morocco and France.
Lecointre is currently on an official visit to Morocco from September 9-12. The visit falls within the regular military consultations between Morocco and France.
According to a statement from the French embassy in Rabat, the senior French official is in Morocco at the invitation of the General Inspector of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (FAR), Lieutenant General Abdelfattah Louarak.
The statement, published on Wednesday, details the agenda of Lecointre’s visit.
After visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and meeting Bourita, the French general is set to meet Morocco’s Delegate Minister for National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudyi.
Lecointre will also meet with several generals, inspectors, and officers from the Moroccan army, air force, and navy.
The Royal School for Military Higher Education in Kenitra and the Royal Military Academy in Meknes are among the establishments that Lecointre is set to visit over the next two days.
Lecointre’s meetings are an extension of the recent visit of French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly to Morocco. The minister landed in Rabat on February 6 and held a series of meetings about military cooperation between Morocco and France with senior Moroccan officials.
Military deals between Morocco and France
France is one of Morocco’s major partners in the military and security fields.
In January 2020, Morocco concluded two military agreements with French arms makers for a total cost of €400 million, according to French newspaper La Tribune.
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.
The Moroccan Navy has future plans to acquire submarines from the French contractor Naval Group, according to 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.