Becoming the first Knesset speaker to visit the parliament of a Muslim country, Amir Ohana is greeted by his Moroccan counterpart in Rabat and confirms that Israel is expected to soon recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed region of Western Sahara.
“I am fully aware of the importance of the recognition over the Moroccan Sahara,” Ohana says, addressing local lawmakers. “It is not only me. I believe that history says so.”
“Israel should move forward toward that goal of recognizing Moroccan Sahara, just as our closest ally the United States of America did as it signed the historic Abraham Accords. I supported and pushed toward that goal,” he says, to thunderous applause.
יו"ר הכנסת אמיר אוחנה: "על ישראל להכיר בריבונות מרוקו בסהרה."
— David Aaronson (@Aaronson_David) June 8, 2023
“I can tell you that there are currently serious discussions between our governments on the matter, and I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be announcing his decision in the near future.”
Reuters reported this week, citing a diplomatic source, that Jerusalem could soon make the move and that it could result in Israel and Morocco upgrading their ties.
The two countries’ diplomatic missions are currently liaison offices, but recognizing Western Sahara could allow for a full embassy presence. A free-trade agreement is also a possibility for the future.
Western Sahara is a sparsely populated desert region on the Atlantic coast that is adjacent to Morocco proper. The Polisario movement seeks independence from Morocco in the area and controls a part of the territory.