Prime Minister of Morocco Rejects Normalization

Saad Eddine El Othmani, the head of the Moroccan government said he rejected normalization with the State of Israel. This position contrasts with that of other Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, which signed a peace agreement with the state of Israel about two weeks ago. This was a landmark event for the UAE which has been described as “historic” by many, most notably President Donald Trump.

This statement was made on Sunday during a meeting of the Justice and Development Party, in response to the spread of rumors about a possible normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel. Morocco refuses any form of normalization with Israel, said El Othmani, secretary general of the Justice and Development Party, the country’s largest “Islamic” party, known for its conservative attitudes. This was just days before the visit of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and most important adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, to the Middle East region, which could include Morocco. It should be noted that no official statement on the visit, nor any information on standardization between Morocco and Israel has been declared.

The agency “Associated Press” reported that according to U.S. diplomats, Kushner will make a visit next week to some countries including Morocco, the Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in addition to Israel. It also indicated that the aim is to bring the mentioned countries and Tel Aviv closer together, especially after the peace agreement that the Emirates have signed with Israel. Several U.S. and Israeli officials confirmed that other agreements with Arab countries will be signed soon, including Morocco.

Kushner has already visited Morocco and met with HM King Mohammed VI, as part of a visit that also took him to Jordan and Israel. This visit was to promote the agreement of the century that the White House considers the best solution to the conflict. Some Arab countries were in favor of the agreement while others refuted it.

U.S. officials said Morocco is the country most likely to develop trade and tourism relations with the Hebrew state, especially since it is known for protecting Jewish minorities who have lived for centuries with their Muslim fellow citizens. According to media reports published by several Israeli newspapers, Morocco has maintained unofficial but strong relations with Israel.

Rabat hosted an Israeli communications office in the 1990s, before freezing it completely after the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada in 2000.

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