In a significant development, King Mohammed VI of Morocco extended an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the North African nation. The invitation comes in light of Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region, as announced by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday.
In a letter addressed to Netanyahu’s office, the Moroccan ruler expressed his gratitude for Israel’s decision, and highlighted the potential for the visit to forge new avenues for strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations.
According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu’s office disclosed that Israel’s national security adviser and Morocco’s foreign minister have initiated discussions to coordinate a suitable timeframe for the meeting, expected to take place “in the near future.”
The recent affirmation of Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara adds a new chapter to the evolving relationship between the two countries, which began their diplomatic normalization in 2020 under the Abraham Accords. Facilitated by the Trump administration, this landmark agreement led to the United States recognizing Morocco’s claim over the contested territory.
Israel appointed Col. Sharon Itach as its first military attaché to Rabat on July 17. In June Israeli military units participated in a U.S. led exercise hosted in Morocco.
The Western Sahara dispute traces its roots back to 1975 when Spain relinquished its colonial rule over the territory. The result of the Spanish withdraw resulted in a long conflict between the Moroccan government and the separatist Polisario Front.
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