Middle East/North Africa

Netanyahu invites Morocco’s king to Israel after first flight between countries

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday invited Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to visit the Jewish state as the two countries bolster their new diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu’s office said the two leaders had a “warm and friendly” conversation, during which the invitation was extended.

“The leaders congratulated each other over the renewal of ties between the countries, the signing of the joint statement with the US, and the agreements between the two countries,” according to the statement from Netanyahu’s office.

“In addition, the processes and mechanisms to implement the agreements were determined,” it added.

The talk comes after the Trump administration brokered a peace deal between the two countries. Israel and Morocco have long had informal ties. 

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner this week flew aboard the first direct commercial flight from Israel to Morocco.

King Mohammed’s office said in a statement Friday that he “recalled the strong and special ties between the Jewish community from Morocco and the Moroccan Monarchy” and “welcomed the reviving of cooperation mechanisms between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel.”

Morocco was the fourth majority Arab country to make peace with Israel this year, following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

The Trump administration recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the contested Western Sahara as part of the deal.

Muslim countries have long resisted forming ties with Israel so long as there is no agreement with the Palestinians on establishing a state of their own. However, shifting regional alliances with Israel and Gulf nations against Iran have scrambled the traditional calculus in the Middle East.

In its statement, King Mohammed’s office said he “reiterated the consistent, unwavering and unchanged position of the Kingdom of Morocco on the Palestinian Question and the pioneering role of the Kingdom in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Updated at 5:21 p.m.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Diplomatic relations diplomatic ties Israel Jared Kushner Middle East Morocco
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