Israeli Delegation Travels to Morocco
Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, accompanied by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, concluded their one-day visit to Morocco Tuesday evening, the first such diplomatic trip since Rabat announced its intention to strengthen its ties with the Jewish state. The delegation took the first-ever official direct flight from Tel Aviv to the Moroccan capital, where the envoys held trilateral meetings regarding future cooperation on trade and tourism. Last month, US President Donald Trump announced Morocco would join the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan in recognizing Israel and formalizing its relations with it. As part of the three-way deal, Washington approved Rabat’s annexation of the disputed Western Sahara region, while also signing a $1 billion arms deal with Morocco. Despite the warm welcome and cordiality, Moroccan officials have in recent days attempted to cool the excitement, insisting their move was not an official part of the Abraham Accords signed between Israel and other Arab states, that no official signing ceremony would take place, and that the deal was simply a restoration of mid-level ties that existed between the countries throughout the 1990s.