Morocco rejects normalising ties with Israel after UAE deal

Morocco rejects normalising ties with Israel after UAE deal
Normalising relations with Israel encourages the Jewish state to further breach the rights of Palestinians, Morocco's premier said.
2 min read
24 August, 2020
Morocco and Israel began low-level ties in 1993 that were later suspended. [Getty]
Moroccan Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani on Sunday said his government rejects any normalisation of relations with Israel, after rumours the North African country was set to establish ties.

El Othmani's remarks came in the wake of US-brokered discussions on Arab-Israeli peace deals after the UAE and Israel announced a deal to establish full diplomatic relations. 

"We refuse any normalisation with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people," El Otmani was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Morocco's official position has been in support of a two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already landed in Israel on a Middle East tour aimed at pushing Arab nations to normalise ties with Israel. Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump, is also set to participate in mediation talks.

Morocco and Israel began low-level ties in 1993 after an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was reached, but after a Palestinian uprising broke out in 2000, Rabat suspended relations.

Under the agreement signed earlier this month, the UAE became the third Arab country - after Egypt and Jordan - to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

Read also: 'Betrayal': Palestinians in the West Bank protest Israel-UAE deal

Israel said in the agreement that it would suspend its planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, a concession welcomed by European and some pro-Western Arab governments, but shunned by Palestinians. Netanyahu has since said the annexation plans have only temporarily been put on hold.

Palestinian groups have publicly denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause.

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