First Direct Israeli Flight arrives Rabat, after Normalization

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, is due to arrive Tuesday in Morocco from Israel on the first direct commercial flight between the two countries since they normalized ties.


The flight from Tel Aviv to Rabat is seen as highly symbolic after Morocco announced on December 10 a “resumption of relations” with Israel.


Morocco became the third Arab state this year, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to normalize ties with Israel under US-brokered deals, while Sudan has pledged to follow suit.


It also aims to showcase the achievements of the Trump administration in Middle East diplomacy, weeks before Trump is replaced at the White House by President-elect Joe Biden.


In return, the US president fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its contested sovereignty in Western Sahara.


The move infuriated the pro-independence Polisario Front, which controls about one fifth of the desert territory that once was a Spanish colony.


Kushner will be heading an American delegation, and during his visit to Rabat a series of agreements will be signed between Morocco and Israel, according to officials.


Negotiations leading to Morocco’s resumption of ties with Israel included the opening of a US consulate in Western Sahara, and US investments which Moroccan media described as “colossal”.


At the same time Israel and Morocco are due to reopen diplomatic offices and activate economic cooperation between them.


Morocco closed its liaison office in Tel Aviv in 2000, at the start of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.


King Mohammed VI has said Morocco will remain an advocate for the Palestinians, but the Palestinians have cried foul and condemned the normalization announcement.


Arab Observer

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