US moving ahead with $1bn arms sale to Morocco: Report

Reuters News Agency says proposed sale to Morocco includes four US-made drones and precision-guided munitions.

US Drones
An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft [File: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images]

The Trump administration is moving ahead with a $1bn weapons sale to Morocco, Reuters News Agency reported on Friday, a day after the United States announced that Morocco had agreed to normalise diplomatic ties with Israel.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the deal, Reuters said the Trump administration sent a notification to Congress about the proposed arms sale.

The proposal includes four US-made drones, as well as precision-guided munitions, the sources said.

Reuters first reported on the arms deal on Thursday after US President Donald Trump hailed the normalisation agreement between Morocco and Israel.

That agreement, which was condemned by Palestinian leaders, was reached after Washington recognised Morocco’s claim to the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Morocco is the fourth Arab country to agree to normalise relations with Israel at the behest of the Trump administration after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

The State Department’s notice to Congress about the proposed arms deal begins the formal processing of the sale, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg also reported that the deal includes four drones and laser-guided munitions.

Congress is notified about major international weapons deals and given the opportunity to review them before they go through.

Under US weapons export law, members of Congress can attempt to block such sales by offering resolutions of disapproval, but sources said that was not expected in Morocco’s case.

A recent multibillion-dollar US arms deal with the UAE, which came after the Gulf country signed its own US-brokered normalisation deal with Israel, was widely condemned by some US legislators who tried to block the sale.

That effort failed earlier this week in the US Senate.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies