Jerusalem: Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid departed on Wednesday for Morocco, marking the first visit to Morocco by Israel’s top diplomat since the two countries normalized ties in 2020.
“Departing for a historic visit in Morocco,” Lapid wrote on Twitter, adding the national flags of the two countries.
Lapid’s office said that the minister will meet with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, and will inaugurate Israel’s diplomatic mission in Rabat.
He will also visit Casablanca’s Temple Beth-El, a historic Jewish synagogue.
Before leaving, Lapid said in a statement that the two-day visit “is a continuation of the long-standing friendship and deep roots and traditions that the Jewish community in Morocco and the large community of Israelis with origins in Morocco have.”
Morocco is still home to a small community of several thousand Jews. In 1995, following the Oslo Accords, peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, Morocco agreed to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.
However, Morocco severed the ties in 2000 after the Second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, broke out.
Even after the ties were severed, the two countries maintained a friendly relationship, with many Israeli tourists traveling each year to Morocco.
The US-brokered deal, first announced in December 2020, renewed official ties between the two countries.