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Israel pushes for US to open consulate in Western Sahara, in Morocco normalisation bid Open in fullscreen

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Israel pushes for US to open consulate in Western Sahara, in Morocco normalisation bid

Israel has been encouraging US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara [GETTY]

Date of publication: 6 February, 2020

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In an attempt to normalise ties with Morocco, Israel urged the US to open a consulate in the disputed Western Sahara territory.
Israel asked the US to open a consulate in Morocco-occupied Western Sahara as part of broader efforts to normalise ties with Rabat, according to a Bloomberg report.

Earlier reports found that Israel has been working on securing the US' recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the annexed region in return for closer ties with Rabat.

While Israel and Morocco have no official diplomatic relations, they share close intelligence ties.

The White House's response to the request is not yet known. It is unclear whether Morocco's government co-signed Israel's effort.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently attempted to foster diplomatic ties with Arab nations.

He was especially successful in warming relations with some Gulf states, which see a common enemy in neighbouring Iran.

The Bloomberg report comes after this week's revelation of a secret White House meeting - one of several - between the US, Israel and the UAE to strategise against Iran.

Sudan's prime minister has also said on Wednesday the African state could welcome normalisation with Israel.

Netanyahu's expansive diplomacy efforts could serve him well in next month's Knesset elections.

Bibi's tenure was dampened by political turmoil, such as his inability to form a governing coalition following the April elections, in addition to a range of corruption charges against him that resulted in several indictments by Israeli officials.

Read more: How Sudan generals' rapprochement with Israel exposes weakness of democratic transition

The disputed Western Sahara has been a contentious issue for the Moroccan government, which has clamped down on Sahrawi pro-independence activists.

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