12/11/2020, 12.00
ISRAEL - MOROCCO
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Israel and Morocco, normalization of diplomatic relations

US President Trump applauds the "historic" signature in the framework of the "Abrahamic Accords". He is also satisfied by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is pressing for "direct relations and flights". An "important" step also for the Egyptian president al-Sisi. Harsh condemnation of Hamas. The White House grants recognition of Rabat's sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Under the aegis of the United States in the peace plan for the Middle East better known as the "Abraham Accords", yesterday Morocco and Israel reached an agreement for the normalization of diplomatic relations.

For the outgoing US President Donald Trump, this is a “historic” signature, also in this case as for the United Arab Emirates (Eau) and Bahrain. In return, the White House granted recognition of Rabat's sovereignty over Western Sahara, disputed with the Polisario Front.

Announcing the news on Twitter, a medium used in recent years for institutional communications, Trump stressed that "Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!". The president added that this is "a great step forward for peace in the Middle East".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also speaks of a "historic" agreement, relaunching the news as the country prepares to celebrate the Chanukkah "festival of lights". Now the word goes to diplomacy for the establishment of "relations and direct flights between the two countries".

Morocco is therefore the fifth Arab country after Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan to normalize relations with Israel. A decision strongly criticized by the Palestinian extremist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, according to which this choice represents a "political sin" that does not serve the "Palestinian cause and encourages occupation [...] and continue to deny the rights of the our people ".

The tenor of the note by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is different. He sees the normalization of relations as an "important step" for the entire region with a view to "stability and cooperation".

In confirming the news, Moroccan King Mohammad VI wanted to reassure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of renewed support for his people and his leaders. The sovereign, reads an official statement, promises the continuation of "Morocco's permanent and sustained commitment to the just Palestinian cause".

He chairs the "al-Qods Committee" [Jerusalem in Arabic], founded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for the conservation of the religious, cultural and urban heritage of the holy city.

At the same time, Mohammad VI expressed great satisfaction with a "historic stance" by the United States, which recognized Rabat's control over Western Sahara. Morocco has extended its dominion over 80% of the 266 thousand square meters that make up the area, proposing local autonomy under its own sovereignty.

The Polisario Front has for years been calling for a referendum for self-determination, provided for in the 1991 ceasefire agreement after 16 years of war. However, negotiations involving Rabat, the Polisario Front, Algeria and Mauritania have stalled since March 2019.

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