Morocco, Israel reach US-brokered deal to normalize ties
Morocco and Israel have reached a US-brokered agreement on normalizing relations, making Morocco the fourth Arab country - after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Sudan – to agree to a normalization deal with the Zionist regime since August.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that “Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations”, claiming that agreement would be “a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”
The White House said in a statement that Trump sealed the agreement in a telephone conversation with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. It quoted the Moroccan king as saying that the agreement aimed to resume “diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”
As part of the agreement, Trump, who is due to leave office on January 20, agreed to recognize Morocco’s "sovereignty" over the contested Western Sahara region.
Morocco annexed the vast Western Sahara region, a former Spanish colony, in 1975 and has since been in conflict with the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory and end Morocco’s presence there.
The West African Arab country is currently in control of 80 percent of the region, including its phosphate deposits and fishing waters.
The American president “reaffirmed his support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory,” said the White House statement.
Under the agreement, Rabat will establish full diplomatic relations and resume official contacts with Israel and grant it overflights. It will also direct flights to and from Israel for all Israelis.
“They are going to reopen their liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv immediately with the intention to open embassies. And they are going to promote economic cooperation between Israeli and Moroccan companies,” Reuters quoted White House senior adviser Jared Kushner as saying.
Separately, Morocco’s royal court said in a statement that the king had told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call earlier in the day that Rabat would stand by a so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinian president has lambasted the three earlier normalization agreements in the strongest terms.
The provocative normalization agreements between Israel and three Arab countries – the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan – have already sparked outrage among the Palestinians who view the agreements as stabs on their back and a betrayal of their cause.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in a statement strongly condemned the agreement, lambasting it as a “political sin.”