Morocco, Israel sign 3 cooperation agreements

Even after the ties were severed, the two countries maintained a friendly relationship, with many Israeli tourists travelling each year to Morocco.

Rabat: In a historic first since the normalisation of bilateral ties last year, Morocco and Israel have signed three cooperation agreements, with the aim of strengthening the relations between the two nations.

On Wednesday, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid signed the memorandum of understanding on the establishment of mechanisms for political consultations, reports Xinhua news agency.

They also signed another agreement to foster cooperation in culture, youth and sports, as well as an agreement on air services between the two countries.

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Bourita said the bilateral tie is becoming more dynamic, with the creation of five working teams covering research and innovation, tourism, aviation, agriculture, energy, environment, trade and investment.

He also called for the resumption of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final, lasting and comprehensive solution based on the two-state solution living side by side in peace and security.

On his part, Lapid said these cooperation agreements will bring mutually beneficial opportunities. Lapid arrived Wednesday afternoon in Rabat for a two-day visit and will inaugurate Thursday Israel’s diplomatic mission in Rabat.

 This is the first visit to Morocco by a top Israeli diplomat since the US-brokered deal, first announced in December 2020, renewed official ties between the two countries.

“Departing for a historic visit in Morocco,” Lapid tweeted before leaving for Rabat. He also said 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”.

During the trip, Lapid will also visit Casablanca’s Temple Beth-El, a historic Jewish synagogue. 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 travelling each year to Morocco.

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