by WorldTribune Staff, December 10, 2020
Morocco has announced it is joining the Trump Administration’s Abraham Accords, becoming the fourth Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel in the last four months.
The Abraham Accords began over the summer with an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Sudan have followed suit and Trump has been working to bring in Saudi Arabia.
Much of the momentum behind the deal-making has been to present a united front against Iran and roll back its regional influence.
Israel and Morocco will restore diplomatic and other relations, including the immediate reopening of liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat and the eventual opening of embassies, President Donald Trump said on Thursday.
“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today!” Trump tweeted. “Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”
The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”
U.S. officials said there would be joint overflight rights for airlines. Israeli airlines El-Al and Israir both said they intend to begin direct flights to Morocco as soon as possible.
The Moroccan decision comes as part of a deal that includes U.S. recognition of the disputed territory of Western Sahara as part of Morocco.
Trump noted that Morocco had been the first country to recognize the United States as an independent nation just a year after the U.S. declared its independence from Britain in 1776.
“It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara,” Trump said.
The deal follows talks conducted by the president’s senior adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his chief international negotiator, Avi Berkowitz. “This is a significant step forward for the people of Israel and Morocco. It further enhances Israel’s security, while creating opportunities for Morocco and Israel to deepen their economic ties and improve the lives of their people,” Kushner said.