Israel, Morocco agree to normalize relations after US-brokered deal
Israel and Morocco agreed on Thursday to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Morocco the fourth Arab country to set aside hostilities with Israel in the past four months.
As part of the agreement, US President Donald Trump agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, where there has been a decades-old territorial dispute with Morocco pitted against the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a breakaway movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Trump sealed the agreement in a phone call on Thursday with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, the senior US official said.
Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2020
Morocco is the fourth country since August to strike a deal aimed at normalizing relations with Israel. The others were the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Under the agreement, Morocco will establish full diplomatic relations and resume official contacts with Israel, grant overflights and also direct flights to and from Israel for all Israelis.
“They are going 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,” White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told Reuters.
“Today the administration has achieved another historic milestone. President Trump has brokered a peace agreement between Morocco and Israel – the fourth such agreement between Israel and an Arab/Muslim nation in four months.
Today, I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco's serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2020
“Through this historic step, Morocco is building on its longstanding bond with the Moroccan Jewish community living in Morocco and throughout the world, including in Israel. This is a significant step forward for the people of Israel and Morocco.
“It further enhances Israel’s security, while creating opportunities for Morocco and Israel to deepen their economic ties and improve the lives of their people.”
A White House statement on the phone call between Trump and the king of Morocco said Trump “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.”
“And as such the president recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory,” the statement said.
With Trump to leave office on Jan. 20, the Morocco deal could be among the last his team, led by Kushner and US envoy Avi Berkowitz, is able to negotiate before they give way to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration.
Much of the momentum behind the deal-making has been to present a united front against Iran and roll back its regional influence.
UAE, Bahrain, Israel and the US ‘change the course of history’
The UAE-Israel Abraham Accord is the mother of all deals
Abraham Accord ‘qualitative step’ to achieving regional peace: UAE Minister of State
Saudi Arabia open to full ties with Israel, on condition of Palestine state: Saudi FMSaudi Arabia remains open to fully normalize ties with Israel on the condition of Palestinian statehood, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal ... Gulf
Israeli parliament approves deal establishing ties with BahrainIsrael’s parliament on Tuesday approved a US-brokered deal establishing formal relations with Bahrain, by a vote of 62 lawmakers in favor and 14 ... Middle East
After agreeing to normalize ties, Israel to send $5 million of wheat to SudanIsrael will send $5 million worth of wheat to Sudan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Sunday, just days after an announcement that the ... Middle East