Israel has reportedly pushed the US to back Morocco on Western Sahara

Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly pushed the United States to agree on a three-way agreement that would see Washington back Morocco on the Western Sahara issue and help Tel Aviv normalize ties with Rabat.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. / DR
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been discussing a three-way agreement that would see the United States recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in exchange for having Rabat take steps to normalize ties with Israel.

The agreement exclusively unveiled, Monday, by Israeli broadcaster Channel13 quotes Israeli and American officials, who confirmed that Netanyahu has been trying in the recent months to make Washington promote his plan.

According to the same report, US’ former National Security Advisor John Bolton has reportedly refused the deal. But when Bolton left office, Netanyahu had been able to discuss his plan once again with American officials.

This time, he discussed it with the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo «but the White House has not agreed to the trade-off», wrote Times of Israel.

Israeli officials quoted by the report said that Morocco was «unhappy with the gap between Netanyahu’s promises and the results so far». They also added that Netanyahu’s proposed deal was beneficial for «everyone».

A three-way agreement

It would mean that US President Donald Trump has been able to help Israel normalize ties with Arab countries, as part of his peace plan, help the Israeli Prime Minister hold «high profile meetings» in Morocco and allow the latter to gain US recognition regarding Western Sahara.

Channel13 reveals that the Israeli proposal was communicated to the US through Israel’s National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat who claimed he «developed ties» with an aide to Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister.

«Both Ben-Shabbat and Bourita also reportedly had ties with Yariv Elbaz, a Jewish businessman who is close to Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner», the same source explained.

In December 2019, Channel13 reported that the White House was reportedly trying to help Israel normalize ties with Arab states.

After launching the economic portion of its Israeli–Palestinian peace proposal, also known as the «Deal of the Century», the United States was putting together a new initiative to convince Morocco, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Oman to sign non-belligerence agreements with Tel Aviv, Israeli, Arab and US sources.

This report emerged days before Israeli Prime Minister said that he wanted to meet King Mohammed VI after holding talks with Mike Pompeo in Portugal. Israeli media said at the time that King Mohammed VI has reportedly vetoed Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Morocco.

According to Israel’s Channel12, the Israeli Prime Minister had hoped to accompany US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his visit to Morocco but King Mohammed VI refused the idea. Morocco has also reortedly refused to discuss normalizing ties with Israel with the US senior official, which was confirmed later senior State Department official.

For the record, Morocco first established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1993, following the signing of the Oslo agreement between the Jewish state and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But with the start of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, Morocco decided to cut ties with the Jewish state.

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