Moroccan king speaks with Netanyahu, discusses agreements

Mohammed VI welcomed “the resumption of regular contacts, within the framework of peaceful and friendly diplomatic relations”.
Sunday 27/12/2020
A file photo of Moroccan King Mohammed VI. (AFP)
A file photo of Moroccan King Mohammed VI. (AFP)

RABAT--Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a telephone conversation, a statement from Morocco’s royal cabinet said Friday.

King Mohammed VI, the statement said, “recalled the strong and special links between the Jewish community of Moroccan origin and the Moroccan monarchy.”

The Moroccan monarch “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,” it said.

Rabat advocates the two-state solution and the unique character of Jerusalem as a city for the three religions, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

The Moroccan king also welcomed “the reviving of cooperation mechanisms between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel, and the resumption of regular contacts, within the framework of peaceful and friendly diplomatic relations,” it added.

The phone call comes three days after an Israeli delegation signed a US-sponsored normalisation agreement with Morocco in Rabat.

“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,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

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

Morocco is the third Arab nation this year to normalise ties with the Jewish state under US-brokered deals, while Sudan has pledged to follow suit.

During the “warm and friendly” conversation, Netanyahu invited Mohammed VI to visit Israel, the statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office added.

Four bilateral deals were signed Tuesday between Israel and Morocco, centring on direct air links, water management, connecting financial systems and a visa waiver arrangement for diplomats.

Israel and Morocco are also due to reopen diplomatic offices.

Morocco closed its liaison office in Tel Aviv in 2000, at the start of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Morocco has North Africa’s largest Jewish community of about 3,000 people, and Israel is home to 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin.