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Shaked heads to Morocco on Monday, in 3rd visit by government minister

Interior minister will meet with senior government officials, discuss deal to bring foreign construction workers and nurses to Israel

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on May 15, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on May 15, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked will travel to Morocco for a diplomatic visit on Monday, becoming the third government minister to do so, her office announced in a statement Sunday.

The statement said Shaked is expected to meet Morocco’s interior minister, foreign minister, planning minister, economy minister and other senior officials in the kingdom, which normalized its relations with the Jewish state in 2020.

Shaked is planning to facilitate bilateral cooperation with Rabat on bringing foreign workers from Morocco to Israel to work in construction and nursing.

“We are certain that this cooperation with the Moroccans will help us advance the housing market and also support the elderly population in Israel,” the statement said.

Shaked is also hoping to promote civil ties and to highlight the historical relationship between Moroccans and the Jewish people.

The trip comes on the heels of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to the North African kingdom in August and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s in November, when he signed a historic defense cooperation agreement.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi, after signing a memorandum of understanding between the two countries at the Moroccan Defense Ministry in Rabat on November 24, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

Relations between the two countries were halted at the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000, after briefly warming in the 1990s during the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians.

Diplomatic relations resumed in 2020 as part of then-US president Donald Trump’s so-called Abraham Accords. As part of the agreement, Washington recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Under the Abraham Accords, Israel also normalized ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and, in principle, with Sudan, though that country’s turbulent political situation has made it difficult for the two to sign a formal agreement.

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