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Normalization between Morocco and Israel is accelerating

While the pomp and «declarations of love» were prevalent when the announcement of the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel was announced, with Morocco all the folklore has been discarded in favor of serious meetings.

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Normalization between Morocco and Israel is advancing at a high speed. Ministers from several departments in both countries continue to meet and discuss ways of cooperation. Each of the speakers tries to build and strengthen cooperation between the two countries, in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the royal cabinet press release, issued on December 10.

Indeed, discussions to conclude a free trade agreement between Morocco and Israel are underway. An objective that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy and the Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Amir Peretz have addressed twice: on December 28, 2020 and January 21, 2021.

Pending the achievement of this great objective for the two countries, especially for their interests in Africa, discussions were initiated on December 31 between the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Orit Farkash Hacohen, and her Moroccan counterpart, Nadia Fattah Alaoui for the establishment of direct flights. The two countries also signed, Thursday, an agreement for the launch of direct flights.

The Minister of Energy and Mines, Aziz Rebbah, for his part, took part in a meeting with his Israeli counterpart on renewable energies. Minister Abdelouafi Laftit joined the movement this week with Interior Minister Aryé Makhlouf Dery.

Morocco's deal with Israel, an «exception»

This renewed proximity, after two decades of official rupture, also integrates culture, with the announcement of filmmaker Jérôme Cohen-Olivar of the signing of the first Moroccan-Israeli cinematographic co-production. Sport completes the set. On January 1, the president of the Royal Football Federation discussed with his Israeli counterpart the organization of football matches between their national teams.

The speed at which normalization is advancing with Morocco is no coincidence. Unlike previous peace agreements signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the one with the Kingdom takes on a special feature. The signing of the agreement on December 22 was made at the Royal Palace in Rabat and in the presence of King Mohammed VI while the others were concluded on September 15 at the White House and without the participation of UAE Crown Prince Mohamed Ben Zayed or Bahrain’s King Hamad.

The ceremony in Morocco was preceded by meetings between officials of the Israeli government and El Othmani government ministers (Tourism, Transport and Equipment and Trade and Industry) and followed by the signing of an agreement and three memoranda of understanding.

These meetings benefited from the political will of the two heads of state. During a phone call on December 26, they emphasized the establishment of strong relationships involving all sectors. On the Israeli side, the Netanyahu cabinet has already appointed David Govrin as head of its liaison office in Rabat while a technical delegation traveled to Tel Aviv to visit the seat of the Moroccan diplomatic representation.

This high-paced normalization was not followed by large protests from pro-Palestinian movements in Morocco.

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