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Israeli Prime Minister to organize a summit with Arabs but without Morocco

Israel's Prime Minister is reportedly planning to bring Arab officials together for a summit, to be held after the March 2 election. The meeting is expected to take place in Cairo but without the presence of Morocco.

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US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. / DR

Shortly after the 2020 Israeli legislative election, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be bringing Arab leaders together for a first-of-its-kind meeting. The latter, dubbed «summit» by Israeli media, is expected to be attended by Israel and several Arab countries.

Preparations are under way according to American rabbi Marc Schneier who told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that «meetings between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman or leaders of other Gulf states will not take place before the March 2 election».

«These leaders are considering a summit with Netanyahu, but want to wait until the elections are over», said the American rabbi who has extensive ties in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.

The summit, which has been backed by the Trump administration, may involve officials from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain and Oman. The King of Jordan said he can only attend the meeting if Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is included, which Israel has agreed to.

What about Morocco ?

Rabbi Marc Schneier is a connoisseur of the Middle East and the Gulf region. In addition to his close ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he is an official adviser to the King of Bahrain and has worked with the Emir of Qatar as well as with leaders in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, the same source said.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, the rabbi did not mention a possible presence of Morocco at the big meeting scheduled for the coming weeks in the Egyptian capital.

«Rabat continues to reject the pressure put by the Israeli Prime Minister to secure a meeting with King Mohammed VI», a well-informed source told Yabiladi.

«Moreover, reports made public these days about the alleged efforts made by Benjamin Netanyahu to convince the Trump administration to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara or to open a consulate in Laayoune has damaged the interests of the Kingdom. They made it possible to pro-Polisario lobbyists in the United States to get back to work after months of silence», the same source explained.

Indeed, after an absence of approximately three years, the representative of the Front in Washington, Mouloud Said, attended the annual breakfast of the House of Representatives on February 5. The same person was also invited to the dinner organized the same day by the Senate.

During this event, Republican Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke to once again defend the Front's theses in Washington. Inhofe is a loyal supporter of the Polisario. In February 2019, he led a delegation of senators who visited the Tindouf camps and Algiers.

For the record, Israeli media reported that King Mohammed VI refused to receive Netanyahu last December.

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