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Benjamin Netanyahu tries to arrange visit by King Mohammed VI ahead of elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. / DR
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The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the National Security Council are working with Moroccan officials to organize a visit by King Mohammed VI to Israel, Israeli newspaper reported.

According to the same sources, the visit is expected «once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted». Meanwhile, Israeli newspapers reported that the king is planned to visit Ramallah and also meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while in Israel.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu is trying to take advantage of this planned visit to increase his chances of securing another victory in the general elections scheduled for next March. The Prime Minister is also traying to rely on voters of Moroccan origin. The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper added that Netanyahu's Likud party planned to play on the weight of the deal with Morocco, making it a central aspect of the election campaign.

However, there is no guarantee that Netanyahu's plans would unfold as he intended. Quoted by The Jerusalem Post, diplomatic sources said the king is well aware of an attempt at electoral clerks, which does not rule out the possibility that he will reject the Israeli prime minister's offer.

A senior Israeli official told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper «negotiations are underway» with the Moroccan side. «I am aware that the Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Council want it to happen, but I'm not sure if it will be possible before the elections take place. But the king may surprise us all and come», he said.

On Sunday, the Israeli government officially approved the normalization agreement with Morocco unanimously. For his part, Netanyahu was full of praise for King Mohammed VI, describing the initiative as «a historic moment after four peace agreements with four Muslim and Arab states in four months».

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