Israeli PM hails 'historic' Morocco normalisation agreement

By: AFP      Published: 11:21 PM, 10 Dec, 2020
Israeli PM hails 'historic' Morocco normalisation agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday hailed as "historic" a normalisation agreement with Morocco and anticipated direct flights between the two countries soon.

In a televised address, he thanked Moroccan King Mohammed VI "for taking this historic decision to bring an historic peace between us".

Netanyahu said the people of Israel and Morocco have had a "warm relationship in the modern period".

Morocco and Israel had respectively maintained liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat in the 1990s, before closing them in 2000.

"I've always believed that this historic day would come," Netanyahu said, before lighting a candle for the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, which began Thursday.

"We will resume liaison offices quickly between Israel and Morocco and work as rapidly as possible to establish full diplomatic relations," Netanyahu added.

"We'll also institute direct flights... giving this bridge of peace an even more solid foundation," the premier said.

After the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, Morocco is the fourth Arab state since August to commit to establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

The accord between Israel and Morocco was announced Thursday by US President Donald Trump.

Netanyahu thanked Trump for "his extraordinary efforts to bring peace to Israel and the peoples of the Middle East".

Trump also announced on Thursday the US would recognise Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.