Israel to reopen Morocco mission in ‘days’

Filed on January 11, 2021

(Reuters file)

Morocco and Israel in December signed a US-brokered normalisation agreement in Rabat.

The Israeli foreign ministry has selected a diplomat to reopen the Jewish state’s liaison office in Morocco, an official said, weeks after the two countries normalised ties.

David Govrin, who was Israel’s ambassador to Egypt from 2016 to 2020, will be the charge d’affaires in Rabat, taking up his position in “the next days”, an Israeli official told AFP.

Morocco and Israel in December signed a US-brokered normalisation agreement in Rabat, with bilateral deals centring on direct air links, water management, connecting financial systems and a visa waiver arrangement for diplomats.

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

A Moroccan technical delegation visited the site two weeks ago to lay the groundwork for its reopening.

The North African kingdom was one of three Arab nations last year to normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with Sudan following suit last week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also invited Morocco’s King Mohammed VI for a visit.

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

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