AFPC: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs refrains from recognizing the Moroccanness of the Sahara

While some Israeli officials have previously expressed support for Morocco’s autonomy plan, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has so far refrained from unequivocally recognizing the Sahara as an integral part of the Kingdom, the latest asserted. report of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) in Washington.

In an Opinion piece published by The Jerusalem Post that picks up some details from the American report written by the Vice President of the AFPC, Ilan Berman pointed out that since the formation of the new Israeli government, the world has instead focused on its “provocative personalities and his controversial domestic policiesand devoted little time to exploring how new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition could improve Israel’s standing in the world.

According to Berman, the answer to this problem is found in the Abraham Accords. These agreements, signed in 2020 with Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, inaugurated “a new era of cooperation for Israel in a historically inhospitable Middle East“. It is believed that expanding the agreements is seen as the solution, as countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and even Pakistan have been cited as potential new partners for Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Ilan Berman disclosed that the report insists that further steps be taken to strengthen the ties between their current members, before expanding the agreements. “In this regard, a lot can be done, starting with strengthening the ties between Jerusalem and Rabat.“, we read in the gallery.

It should be noted that from the beginning, Moroccan-Israeli relations have been among the most promising elements of further regional rapprochement, and for good reason. The ties between the two countries are extremely deep, knowing that a tenth of the population of Israel, which has more than 9 million people, is of Moroccan origin and that many of them return regularly to the Kingdom, the document recalls. .

Thus, since the signing of the Abraham Accords, contacts between Morocco and Israel have intensified. The report refers in this sense to bilateral trade, which has grown considerably. “Rabat and Jerusalem have established working groups on issues ranging from agriculture to energy and the Kingdom has become a major customer of the Israeli defense industry“, we explain. In particular, there are the aspects of establishing direct flights and tourism.

On the other hand, the two countries still do not have the characteristics of full diplomatic relations, although they have exchanged political personnel and established liaison offices, the report said. For the Council, this comes down to the Sahara dossier, given that the country’s foreign ministry has still not categorically recognized the Sahara as an integral part of the Kingdom.

This is a critical error. For Morocco, the disposal of the Sahara is not just a government project, but an issue that lies at the very heart of their national identity.“, indicates the report, while recalling the participation of many Moroccans in the green march. The position of international partners on the Sahara will be considered by the Kingdom as a key measure of the health of these bilateral relations, the document adds.

In effect, “Israel is no exception and Jerusalem’s stance on the Sahara promises to be an important test of its budding partnership with Rabat and an indicator of how ties will evolve in the future.», points out the vice-president of the PSAC. Moreover, Netanyahu, who oversaw the genesis of the accords during his last stint as prime minister, should have a vested interest in cementing what is arguably his most significant foreign policy achievement to date, “the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara seems to be a very good starting point“, notes the editor.

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