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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Morocco-Israel mark one-year anniversary of reestablished diplomatic ties

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Morocco, Israel, and the United States commemorated the one-year anniversary of the reopening of diplomatic relations between the North African kingdom and the Jewish state, which was facilitated by the United States.

During a videoconference, Nasser Bourita, Yair Lapid, and Antony Blinken, the foreign ministers of the three nations, praised a collaboration aimed at forging what US Secretary of State John Kerry called “an achievement that has enhanced relations, partnerships, and avenues to pursue common goals.”

Rabat, according to Bourita, is committed to achieving “long-term stability in the region.”

Morocco reestablished official ties with Israel in December of last year, two decades after the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, began.

The rapprochement was part of the Abraham Accords, a series of normalisation agreements between Israel and numerous Arab countries arranged by then-US President Donald Trump’s administration.

It enraged Palestinians because it ruptured a long-standing Arab consensus rejecting normalisation until Israel agrees to a comprehensive and long-term peace agreement.

Blinken lauded the announcement as “a significant move for the region as we work to broaden the circle of peace.”

“The United States is dedicated to the Abraham Accords’ support and expansion. We hope to see your liaison offices become embassies in the not-too-distant future “he stated

Bourita also agreed to visit Israel “as soon as feasible” after receiving an offer from Lapid.

He restated Morocco’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Authorities in Rabat barred a pro-Palestinian coalition of far-left militants and Islamists from holding sit-ins in numerous locations to protest the anniversary of the pact. According to footage on social media, turnout was low elsewhere.

Despite Morocco’s pro-Palestinian views, the resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel was met with little opposition, as Washington recognised the kingdom’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara.

Morocco controls the majority of Western Sahara and considers it part of its sovereign territory, whereas Algeria supports the Polisario Front independence movement.

In the early 1990s, Morocco and Israel had established diplomatic relations.

The kingdom formerly had a sizable Jewish community, and a year after relations were restored, things are getting back to normal.

Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz paid an unusual visit to Algeria, where he signed a security contract that enraged Algerians and Palestinians.

Moroccan procurement of Israeli defence equipment has since been reported in the media in both countries.

Orna Barbivai, Israel’s Economy and Industry Minister, is also set to travel early next year, according to Saudi media.

In August, Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing “hostile measures,” which Rabat denies.

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