Morocco Top Buyer of French Weapons in the Maghreb

Rabat – Morocco purchased more French arms than any country in the Maghreb, far exceeding Algeria. According to figures released by the daily Akhbar Al Yaoum in its weekend edition, Morocco spent 723 million euros (MAD 80 billion) from 2010 to 2014 on French weapons.Morocco comes ahead of Algeria, which spent only 247 million euros during the same period. Morocco also ranks highly in the Arab world in terms of French weapons purchases. According to the same source, Morocco ranks among the top ten Arab customers of the French defense industry, alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt.The frigate FREMM Mohammed VI, acquired in January for 450 million euros, is among the most important Moroccan acquisitions from the French defense industry.While France remains one of Morocco’s most important arms suppliers, the country has made an effort to diversify its sources. According to Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Morocco also imports its weapons from other countries, mainly the US, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and China.Another report from SIPRI published last March showed that Morocco is Africa’s second largest importer of arms, behind Algeria. Between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, Morocco’s arms purchases accounted for 26 percent for Africa’s overall imports.Edited by Timothy Filla

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