Israel Knesset speaker to visit Morocco in June 'on Rabat's invitation': Israeli media

Israel Knesset speaker to visit Morocco in June 'on Rabat's invitation': Israeli media
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and US officials are reportedly working to convene the Negev Forum next month in Morocco. 
2 min read
29 May, 2023
“It was the speaker of the Moroccan parliament who invited Ohana," reported Israeli media. (Getty)

Israeli Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana is expected to visit Morocco in a first of its kind trip at the beginning of June, according to Israeli media.

“It was the speaker of the Moroccan parliament who invited Ohana following connections that were created between their respective offices,” Israel's Kan 11 News reported on Thursday.

The New Arab contacted the Moroccan foreign ministry for confirmation, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

The visit will reportedly take place a few weeks after the establishment of the Moroccan-Israeli friendship group in the Moroccan Parliament.

The House of Representatives website shows that the new body will host members from the majority ruling Istiqlal Party and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM).

The left-wing Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) have also submitted members.

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The new body has triggered significant a backlash, pushing left-wing parties to request quitting the group.

Late in 2020, Morocco normalised ties with Israel in exchange for US recognition of Rabat’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

Since then, several top Israeli officials have visited Morocco, including former Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, former Defence Minister Benny Gantz, and more recently Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and US officials are reportedly working to convene the Negev Forum next month in Morocco. 

Last year, the Moroccan foreign minister ended his speech at the first Negev summit saying: "I hope that we meet in another Sahara next time, but with the same spirit." 

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Several sources say Rabat is pushing for hosting the summit in the Western Sahara region to gain international recognition of its control over the region.

Morocco and Israel are set to mark the third anniversary of their ties this December. However,  anti-normalisation sentiment remains prominent among Moroccans.

“We fight for our national geogrifical unity as much we fight for the Palestinian cause. (...) There’s no justification for normalisation and we will continue to stand against this betrayal,” Jamal Al-Esri, a member of the Moroccan Front against normalisation, told the The New Arab.