Israel, Morocco reach scientific research deal in new normalisation step

Israel, Morocco reach scientific research deal in new normalisation step
2 min read
27 May, 2022
Israeli science minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said Morocco and Israel seek to deepen collaboration on matters concerning water, climate change and renewable energy.
Morocco's normalisation with Israel has been slammed by pro-Palestine activists [Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto/Getty-file photo]

Israel and Morocco reached a scientific research cooperation agreement on Thursday in Rabat, a year and a half after the two countries agreed to normalise ties.

The deal came as Israeli science minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen met with her Moroccan counterpart, Abdellatif Miraoui, her office said in a statement, with Farkash-Hacohen explaining that the memorandum of understanding follows on from the 2020 normalisation deal.

She said Israel and Morocco aim to further shared priorities by deepening their collaboration on matters concerning water, climate change, health and renewable energy, Anadolu Agency reported.

Miraoui told attendees at the deal's signing event that the agreement would help boost cooperation among Moroccan and Israeli institutions.

Israel and Morocco controversially agreed to normalise relations in December 2020, twenty years after the North African country cut ties.

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In return, the US administration of then-President Donald Trump, recognised Western Sahara as belonging to Morocco, tearing up America's longstanding policy on the disputed territory.

The Morocco-Israel deal came after Bahrain, the UAE and Sudan signed up to the Abraham Accords that year, promising to regularise diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Arab states' normalisation with Israel has been decried by Palestinians and their supporters throughout the Middle East and beyond, with Moroccans turning out in their hundreds across the country earlier this month in protest.

Pro-Palestine activists consider normalisation a betrayal that helps cover grave abuses committed by Israel, making a political resolution between Israelis and Palestinians much less likely.