Israeli Cabinet approves historic peace agreement with Morocco

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Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (center) and senior adviser to the U.S. president Jared Kushner with Moroccan King Mohammed VI at the royal palace in Rabat, Dec. 22, 2020. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

“I would like to commend King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the cooperation between us,” says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

 The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved the country’s normalization agreement Morocco, the fourth U.S.-brokered peace deal with a Muslim-Arab state in the past four months.

The deal with Morocco, which is being submitted to the Knesset for ratification, follows similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

“I would like to commend King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the cooperation between us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at start of the Cabinet meeting. “Together we are advancing direct flights between the countries, which will happen soon, as well as economic, commercial and technological cooperation and—of course—the opening of missions in the two countries.”

The deal was in the making last month, when Jared Kushner, senior adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, led a delegation from Israel to Morocco aboard the first direct flight between the two countries, which—prior to the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000—had liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv. Leading the Israeli delegation on the same flight was Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, whose family hails from Morocco.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday announced the opening of an official diplomatic mission to Abu Dhabi, as part of the agreement with the UAE. Eitan Na’eh, formerly Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, will head the temporary mission, until an ambassador is appointed and a permanent site for an embassy can be found.

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