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Morocco says flights first, diplomatic ties after

In a statement, Moroccan sovereign King Mohammad VI says Morocco intends to “resume official bilateral contacts and diplomatic relations [with Israel] as soon as possible.”

King Mohammad says that Morocco will take three moves in the near future. First, facilitating direct flights to transport Jews of Moroccan origin and Israeli tourists too and from Morocco. The North African nation will also seek to “resume official bilateral ties and diplomatic relations [with Israel] as soon as possible.”

Morocco will also seek “to develop innovative relationships in the economic and technological fields. As part of this goal, there will be work on renewing liaison offices in the two countries, as was the case in the past for many years, until 2002,” King Mohammad says.

He thanks US President Donald Trump for recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed region of Western Sahara, which observers believe was done as a quid pro quo in exchange for normalization.

Explaining the decision to normalize, King Mohammad cites among other reasons “the historical role that Morocco has played in bringing the peoples of the region together and supporting security and stability in the Middle East, and given the special ties that bind the Jewish community of Moroccan origin, including those in Israel, to the person of His Majesty the King.”

— Aaron Boxerman

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