According to Russia Today (RT), Morocco and Israel have agreed to normalize relations, the latest in a series of agreements between Israel and the Muslim world brokered by the Trump administration of the United States.
White House officials told Reuters that Trump reached the agreement by phone with King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Thursday. Trump subsequently lauded the agreement on Twitter as a “significant breakthrough in peace in the Middle East”.
Unlike some Arab countries, Morocco is not strictly at war with Israel. However, until recently, Morocco has not publicly recognized the existence of this Jewish state. Despite Morocco’s public incognition, Morocco secretly communicated with Israeli intelligence at several critical moments of conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
White House adviser Jared Kushner said that under the new agreement, Morocco and Israel will establish full diplomatic relations and air links and will “promote economic cooperation”. Under the mediation of the United States, Morocco signed this agreement to establish relations with Israel after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Before the agreement was reached, some Moroccan commentators thought that the rumors of the agreement was far-fetched, because the conflict between Israel and Palestine continued, and a Moroccan journalist said that the country was “dedicated to the Palestinian cause”.
In February 2020, there were also large protests against Trump’s Middle East peace plan in Morocco, which they believe are biased towards Palestine.
However, in addition to the agreement, the Trump administration promised to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over “the whole territory of Western Sahara”. Western Sahara is located in the southwest of Morocco.
Since Spain renounced control of the territory in 1975, the Moroccan government and Algerian-backed rebel groups have been competing for the territory.
According to the White House, Trump “reiterates Morocco’s support for the serious, credible and realistic proposal of autonomy for Western Sahara”, which will receive the same autonomy as the Spanish regions of Catalonia and Basque Country.
However, on Twitter, Trump described this recognition as “reward to Morocco’s decision to recognize the United States in 1777”, and Morocco was the first country in the world to do so.
Therefore, Trump believes that it is appropriate for the United States to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
After announcing the decision, Kushner, a senior adviser to the President of the United States, told reporters that Saudi Arabia will “inevitably” follow the decision and normalize relations with Israel.
RT reported that although Saudi Arabia is ruled by a tough Sunni Islamic government, Saudi Arabia has become more and more closely related to Israel in recent years because both countries have hostility to Shiite Iran.