Saudi Arabia is trying to expand its influence at the Southern Mediterranean region, as it will provide $22 billion to Morocco to “strengthen the deterrent capabilities of the Royal Armed Forces.”
According to Morocco World News, on December 16 the two Kingdoms signed an agreement of military and technical cooperation between the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces and the Saudi Armed Forces.
Today, Arabic daily Al-Massae reported that under the signed agreement, “Saudi Arabia is financing the implementation of a military industry project in Morocco with $22 billion.” Besides the funding, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide military intelligence to Morocco to help the Southern Mediterranean country to upgrade its status “from client to producer of weapons”, an unnamed source told Al-Massae.
According to Morocco World News, the Strategic Defense Intelligence Institute (SDI) revealed that the December agreement foresaw that “no less than 220 billion dirhams will be invested by the Kingdom over a period of four years (2015-2019) to strengthen the deterrent capabilities of the Royal Armed Forces.”
According to the Moroccan daily, , the government of Morocco wants to develop the military industry of the country making it less dependent to imports. “The alleged $22 billion Saudi funding will help Morocco to develop a national ‘embryonic’ military and become a producer of weapons, earning an important role in the International Defense Industry,” Morocco World News reported.
Defense Industry Daily reported that several well-known companies such as Bombardier, Airbus, Safran and Thales are to open operations in Morocco in 2016.
The New Arab daily reported that Morocco has long been a close and privileged ally of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both oil-rich countries, have been investing in Morocco for decades.