Morocco set to open embassy in Israel 'this summer'

Morocco set to open embassy in Israel 'this summer'
Morocco is expected to open an embassy in Israel this summer, following a 2020 deal to normalise ties between the two countries.
2 min read
16 June, 2022
Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita is expected to visit Israel this summer [Getty]

Morocco is slated to open an embassy in Israel some time this summer, reported the Times of Israel on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said at a press conference that his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita will be visiting Israel in order to officially open the North African country’s embassy, with his visit likely to take place within the 'next month or two', according to the Israeli broadcaster Kan

Israel opened its liaison office in Morocco in August 2021, but has yet to upgrade the mission to an embassy, while Morocco opened a liaison office in Tel Aviv in February of the same year.

David Govrin was nominated as Israel’s permanent ambassador to Morocco, one month after the two countries signed a deal to normalise relations in December 2020.

An Israeli diplomatic source said that the upgrade to Israel’s diplomatic office in Rabat is expected to occur in conjunction with Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita’s visit, according to The Times of Israel.

Rabat established diplomatic ties with Israel shortly after Bahrain and the UAE did, with the controversial Abraham Accords.

The normalisation deals have been widely condemned across the Arab world and slammed as a betrayal by Palestinians, who have pointed out that they reward Israel while it continues to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.

Morocco's normailisation of ties with Israel has been criticised by activists who have regularly held pro-Palestinian demonstrations denouncing the deal.

The two countries however, have gone on to sign a series of agreements, including the launching of direct commercial flights, and the signing of security, scientific research and trade deals.

Bourita made his first official visit to Israel in March this year - participating in a summit in the Naqab (Negev) desert in southern Israel along with other Arab foreign ministers while Israel was attempting to evict Palestinian Bedouins from their homes in the area.

His visit prompted backlash from activists in Morocco.

The UAE’s foreign minister Abdullah Bin Zayed is also expected to visit Israel this summer.