Morocco 'committed to opening Israel embassy': report

Morocco 'committed to opening Israel embassy': report
2 min read
07 January, 2021
The Israel-Morocco accord agreed late last year fell short of pledges to open embassies.
Morocco and Israel agreed to normalise ties in a US-brokered deal last year [Getty]
Morocco is "committed" to opening an embassy in Israel as part of a normalisation deal, Israeli officials told Axios, in a major step in the development of the two countries' diplomatic relations.

A US-brokered agreement to establish ties between Israel and Morocco last month had promised the opening of liason offices in both countries but not embassies.

Morocco's reticence around opening an embassy in Israel was reportedly spurred by worries that Joe Biden's incoming administration would reverse President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Rabat's sovereignity over the disputed Western Sahara region.

In a phone call last week, however, King Mohammed VI told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his country was committed to the opening an embassy as the next step in the normalisation process, Israeli officials told Axios.

Officials from Morocco have already travelled to Tel Aviv to inspect the country's former liason office, while an Israeli delegation is due in Rabat this week to see if its office can be reopened.

Liason offices could open in both locations as soon as next week, Israeli officials said.

The normalisation process is "moving very fast" and will ultimately include the opening of embassies, one official added.

David Schenker, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs, will also travel to Morocco next week to discuss the US opening of a consulate in the Western Sahara.

On Wednesday, Sudan also formally agreed to the so-called Abraham Accords, joining Morocco, Bahrain and the UAE in establishing ties with Israel.

Normalisation with Israel is a highly controversial issue in the Middle East and North Africa region, where states and the public have historically eschewed relations with Israel in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

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