Monday, January 30, 2023

Netanyahu meets with King of Morocco and invites him to Israel | Benjamin Netanyahu News

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While welcoming the renewal of ties, King Mohammed VI said his country’s position on Palestine remained unchanged.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Mohammed VI of Morocco had a telephone conversation in which the Israeli prime minister invited the king for a visit, Netanyahu’s office said.

The two leaders spoke on Friday of moving forward with a US-brokered deal announced earlier this month to normalize bilateral relations, the Israeli statement said.

“The leaders welcomed the renewal of ties between the countries, the signing of the joint declaration with the United States and the agreements between the two countries,” the statement said.

“In addition, the processes and mechanisms for implementing the agreements have been determined,” he added.

Four bilateral agreements were signed Tuesday between Israel and Morocco, focusing on direct air links, water management, connection of financial systems and a visa waiver agreement for diplomats.

Israel and Morocco must also reopen their diplomatic offices.

Netanyahu also thanked King Mohammed VI for hosting an Israeli delegation this week.

King Mohammed VI stressed the close ties between the Moroccan Jewish community and the monarchy, the Royal Court said in a statement.

Morocco has the largest Jewish community in North Africa of around 3,000 people, and Israel is home to 700,000 Jews of Moroccan descent.

Position of Palestine unchanged: Morocco

While welcoming the resumption of relations with Israel, the king said Morocco’s position regarding Palestine remained unchanged.

Rabat advocates the two-state solution and the uniqueness of Jerusalem as a city of three religions.

Morocco closed its liaison office in Tel Aviv in 2000, at the start of the second intifada, or uprising.

The North African nation this year became the third Arab state, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to normalize its relations with Israel under agreements brokered by the United States, while Sudan pledged to do the same.

The Palestinians condemned the agreements, calling them a betrayal of a long-standing demand that Israel first respond to their request for statehood.

As the Trump administration sought to isolate Iran, normalization agreements were softened by promises of trade opportunities or economic aid.

Israel and Morocco predict a surge in tourism aboard these connections, mainly among the hundreds of thousands of Israelis of Moroccan descent.

Israel’s new partners have also benefited from bilateral advantages from Washington – in the case of Rabat, the recognition by the United States of its sovereignty over Western Sahara.


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