Breaking: Morocco becomes fourth Arab country to make peace with Israel in last 4 months

December 10, 2020

 

PEACE WITH MOROCCO; QATAR DEAL MAY BE IMMINENT

[Note by Tom Gross]

U.S. president Donald Trump has just announced that Morocco has agreed to full diplomatic relations with Israel. (The Israeli and Moroccan governments are yet to confirm the news.)

Morocco will become the fourth Arab country to normalize relations with Israel in just the last four months, following the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan.

The peace moves all emanate from the diplomacy resulting from the Trump Middle East peace plan that his team spent most of his administration working on -- a team largely composed of persons such as former Trump (real estate) Organization lawyers Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman who had no background in professional diplomacy.

Trump sealed the agreement in a phone call today with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, a senior U.S. official said.

Under the agreement, Morocco will establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, grant overflights and also direct flights to and from Israel for all Israelis.

Trump’s son-in-law White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has just said:

“The two countries are going reopen their liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv immediately with the intention to open embassies. And they are going to promote economic cooperation between Israeli and Moroccan companies.”

WEST SAHARA SOVEREIGNTY

More controversially, as part of the agreement, the U.S. has agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, where there has been a decades-long territorial dispute with Morocco confronting the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a breakaway movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory.

“Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara,” Trump said in another tweet within the last few minutes.

QATAR DEAL IMMINENT?

Last week Kushner and his team traveled to Saudi Arabia and Qatar seeking an end to the bitter conflict between Doha and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. There is speculation that recognition of Israel by Qatar could be part of a deal Kushner is trying to broker.

Many Middle East experts have urged the incoming Biden team to continue with the Trump Middle East policies in the hope that more deals, including between Israel and Saudi Arabia, will be forthcoming, and not to return to the Obama-era polices which were perceived as being far too soft on the Iranian regime but relatively hostile to Israel and several Arab countries.

 

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