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Morocco, Israel sign legal deal as cooperation expands

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Morocco and Israel added legal links to a growing list of cooperation accords since they normalized relations in 2020, during a visit Tuesday by Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Saar.

He signed a judicial accord in Rabat with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Ouahbi.

A joint statement said the two countries would share expertise and modernize their judicial systems through digitalization, while cooperating in the fight against organized crime, terrorism and human trafficking.

Also on Tuesday, Israel's Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej, an Israeli Arab whose family originated in Morocco, held talks in Rabat on a cultural exchange program for youths from both countries.

Morocco cut relations with Israel in 2000 following the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, but re-established ties two decades later in a deal that saw Washington recognize Rabat's sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara.

Since then, a steady stream of Moroccan and Israeli officials have visited each others' countries and signed deals ranging from defense and security to the economy, culture and sports.

Israeli army chief Aviv Kohavi visited Morocco last week, consolidating the strategic and military alliance between Israel and the North African country.

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