Sunday, March 7, 2021

Morocco latest Arab state to normalise relations with Israel in Trump-brokered deal

Morocco becomes the sixth Arab League member to normalise ties with Israel.

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Morocco has become the latest Arab League country to normalise relations with Israel in a deal brokered by President Donald Trump.

In a key part of the deal, the US has agreed to recognise Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara, where the Algeria-backed Polisario Front has long sought to establish an independent state.

In Morocco, a palace statement said the king, in a telephone call with Trump, had agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel “with minimal delay”.

Morocco is the fourth country to make a deal with Israel since August, after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. It is the sixth Arab League member to normalise ties with Israel, joining Egypt and Jordan.

Trump announced the agreement on Thursday, tweeting, “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!”

The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural co-operation to advance regional stability”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the “historic” agreement.

Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain welcomed the deal but Palestinian officials condemned it, saying it encouraged Israel’s denial of their rights. They have been vocal in their criticism of all the recent deals, believing they betray a promise by Arab states not to form ties with Israel until Palestinian statehood has been achieved.

Morocco’s king said, “The measures do not in any manner affect Morocco’s ongoing and sustained commitment to the just Palestinian cause.”

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