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The New Arab Staff

Morocco signs direct flight agreement with Israel in latest normalisation step

The first flight took place in December [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 January, 2021

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The two states agreed to normalise ties in December last year.
Morocco signed an agreement with Israel this week to launch direct flights between the two countries.

The agreement signed on Thursday is the latest step in an ongoing normalisation process launched last year.

Israel and Morocco agreed to establish ties in a US-brokered agreement that came in tandem with Washington's recognition of Moroccan sovereignity over the disputed Western Sahara.

The first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Morocco took place in December, when Israeli and American delegations made the trip from Israel in order to formalise the normalisation accord.

It is not clear when flight companies will begin selling tickets for flights.

Before Morocco mostly shuttered its borders at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, around 70,000 Israeli tourists traveled to the country each year.

Thousands of Israelis have streamed into the United Arab Emirates since the Gulf nation normalised ties with Israel last year.

Egypt and Jordan established relations with Israel in earlier peace drives but last year was a bumper year for normalisation accords.

The Trump administration drive saw four Arab states - the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco - make the move, as well as Kosovo's recognition of Israel.

The accords have been widely opposed by Palestinians, as well as in most Arab-majority and Muslim-majority nations.

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