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Israel appoints David Govrin as permanent ambassador to Morocco

Govrin, the charge d’affaires of the Rabat mission since its inauguration in August, is nominated by Foreign Ministry panel as the office is upgraded to an embassy

Israel’s new ambassador to Morocco, David Govrin. (courtesy)
Israel’s new ambassador to Morocco, David Govrin. (courtesy)

The Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee on Sunday nominated Israel’s charge d’affaires in Morocco to be the country’s permanent ambassador to the African nation, which last year normalized its ties with the Jewish state.

David Govrin, who has headed the diplomatic mission in Rabat for the past two months, will now run the fully upgraded embassy.

Govrin, 58, has served as an Israeli diplomat since 1989, according to the Foreign Ministry.

He speaks fluent Arabic, and served as the ambassador to Egypt from 2016 to August 2020.

In August, Lapid inaugurated Israel’s Liaison Office in the Moroccan capital. He added at the time that Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita was expected to arrive in Israel in either October or early November to open the Moroccan embassy in Tel Aviv.

The Trump administration brokered the Israel-Morocco normalization agreement last year, mending ties that were cut off following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000. However, the 2020 deal did not establish full diplomatic relations.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) inaugurates Israel’s Liaison Office in Rabat, Morocco, on August 12, 2021, alongside Moroccan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohcine Jazouli (center) and Welfare Minister Meir Cohen (left). (Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)

Morocco reportedly hesitated to move forward until it was assured that the Trump administration’s recognition of its sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region would be upheld by current US President Joe Biden.

Once the new administration assured Rabat that it would not reverse the recognition, Morocco decided to move forward with the normalization deal, the Walla news site reported.

The first direct commercial flights between Israel and Morocco took off in July, seven months after the countries agreed to normalize and open reciprocal diplomatic offices.

The agreement with Morocco came as part of a wave of diplomatic agreements between Israel and Arab states, including the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. In late June, Lapid made a historic trip to the UAE to open the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai.

Lazar Berman contributed to this report.

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