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Israel eyes normalization deal with Morocco after US polls, Intelligence minister says

Five countries, including Morocco, would normalize ties with Israel in the near future, according to Eli Cohen, Israeli minister of Intelligence. The official said Israel will intensify normalization talks with five Arab countries after US presidential elections early November.

Eli Cohen, Israeli minister of Intelligence. / DR
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Israeli Intelligence minister Eli Cohen said in an interview with Channel 20 television, Tuesday that Israel will intensify normalization talks with five Arab countries after US presidential elections early November, i24news reported.

«There are five others, namely Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Morocco and negotiations with these countries will intensify after the US presidential elections», he claimed.

«After signing the agreement with the United Arab Emirates, I said there will be other agreements with a country from the Gulf and a country from Africa and later Bahrain and Sudan joined the historical path», Cohen said.

Eli Cohen explained that the region is currently going through a «major historical transformation». «The American determination to continue this march, which results in the formation of a strong front which includes Egypt, Sudan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, against the axis of evil led by Iran and Erdogan (the Turkish president)», he added.

A controversial topic

Cohen’s statement was followed by that of an official from the French Federation of Moroccan Judaism. On Monday, Simon Haim Skiran, secretary general of the French Federation of Moroccan Judaism reported, on his Facebook page, that a meeting would have taken place recently in New York between «American, Israeli and Moroccan diplomats to lay the foundations for a normalization deal between Israel and Morocco». However, his words are to be taken with a grain of salt, given that Simon Haim Skiran does not cite any official source to back his announcement.

On Friday, September 18, dozens of people observed a sit-in in front of the parliament in Rabat to condemn normalization with Israel. Brought together by around thirty associations, unions and left-wing political parties, the protest was an opportunity for organizers to denounce the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with the Hebrew state and to announce that «Palestine is a national cause for Moroccans».

This protest comes as Israeli and American media, including CNN, have notably cited Morocco, Oman and Sudan as the next Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Israel does not hide, moreover, its intention to resume diplomatic relations with the Kingdom. In fact, in February, Israeli and American media reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had allegedly been trying to convince the United States to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara, in exchange for official diplomatic relations with Morocco.

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