Israel links Western Sahara decision to Morocco hosting Negev Forum

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Israel linked on Monday its pending decision on recognizing the Moroccan claim on Western Sahara to Morocco hosting a repeatedly postponed forum of foreign ministers involved in a US-sponsored regional normalization drive.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Morocco upgraded ties with Israel in 2020, encouraged by then US President Donald Trump, who recognized Rabat’s rule over Western Sahara, where the Algeria-backed Polisario Front demands an independent state. Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has not followed through by opening a consulate there, however.

Diplomatic sources have said that Morocco could establish full relations with Israel - with their current mid-level diplomatic missions repurposed as embassies - in exchange for Israeli recognition of Morocco’s claim.

But Morocco, citing Israeli policies on the Palestinians, last month postponed a so-called Negev Forum of Israel and Arab states, which it had been due to convene.

Asked at a briefing to foreign media what Israel sought in return for a recognition of Western Sahara as Moroccan, and whether it planned to open a consulate in the territory, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen linked a decision to the conference.

“We are right now working in regards to this issue and our plan is to have our final decision in the Negev Forum,” he told reporters, adding that he expected the Moroccan-hosted event to take place in September or October.

Read more:

Israel considers recognition of Morocco’s rule over Western Sahara

Amnesty accuses Spain, Morocco of cover-up over Melilla enclave migrant deaths

Morocco postpones ‘Abraham Accords’ summit amid strife in West Bank

Top Content Trending