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Israeli FM to visit Morocco next month, inaugurate embassy

Rabat (QNN)- Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is planning to visit Morocco in early August to inaugurate the new Israeli diplomatic mission in Rabat, making him the first Israeli minister to visit Morocco.

Israeli sources told Axios that Lapid and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita agreed on the visit during a phone conversation on Friday.

Israeli sources told Axios the visit is expected to take place on August 10th or 11th, subject to the COVID situations in the occupation state of ‘Israel’ and Morocco by then.

If it happened, Lapid would be the first Israeli minister to visit Morocco since normalizing relations last December as part of a three-way deal with the U.S., in which the Trump administration recognized Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara.

Last year, ‘Israel’ and Arab countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco normalized ties, known as the Abraham Accords, brokered by Washington.

Palestinians condemned the normalization agreements, saying they encouraged Israel’s denial of their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.

The Moroccans stopped short of fully normalizing diplomatic relations with ‘Israel’ when the deal was signed in December, preferring instead to mutually open diplomatic liaison offices in lieu of embassies — and potentially retaining bargaining chips should the next administration consider rolling back the Western Sahara decision.

Two months ago, US Secretary of State Blinken told Bourita the Biden administration is not rolling back Trump’s decision.

Biden’s top Middle East adviser, Brett McGurk, spoke with Bourita two weeks ago and reiterated this position.

Because of the Biden administration’s position, Morocco plans to conclude its normalization process with ‘Israel’ by turning its diplomatic liaison office in Tel Aviv into an official embassy, sources familiar with the issue told Axios.

Last week during a meeting with the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Lapid said ‘Israel’ is planning to open an embassy in Morocco.

Israeli officials told Axios that Lapid didn’t misspeak, and that Morocco and ‘Israel’ are negotiating the possibility of announcing the upgrade of the diplomatic offices to full embassies during Lapid’s visit.

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