Lapid to make historic visit to Morocco

The trip will mark the first official visit of an Israeli foreign minister to Morocco.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced Monday that he will be visiting Morocco in the coming weeks as Israel and the North African kingdom continue the process of diplomatic normalization which began last year.

“At the end of last week, I agreed with the minister of foreign affairs of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, on the first official visit of an Israeli foreign minister to Morocco, as part of the renewal of full diplomatic relations,” Lapid tweeted.

“This is a historic event. I would like to thank the King of Morocco, His Excellency Mohammed VI, for his leadership in promoting the visit and renewing relations,” he said.

Lapid said the visit will take place after the opening of direct flights to Morocco at the end of July, setting the likely date for the trip in early August.

“This visit will be the starting point for tourism and trade agreements, and for comprehensive economic and political cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

Lapid also announced that his visit will be followed with a reciprocal visit by Foreign Minister Bourita to Israel, during which Morocco will open a diplomatic mission in the Jewish State.

On July 7, Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz hand delivered a letter from Lapid to Bourita, inviting him to make the first official visit by a Moroccan foreign minister to Israel.

In December 2020, the Trump administration brokered a normalization agreement between Israel and Morocco, with the U.S. recognizing Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara.

However, uncertainty about the changing U.S. administration led Morocco to be hesitant toward concluding the normalization process.

Axios reported that the Biden administration has since reassured Morocco in at least two phone calls that it would not reverse the U.S. position on Western Sahara, allowing Morocco to continue normalization with Israel.

Israel’s agreement with Morocco followed similar U.S.-brokered agreements with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan.