Akshay Prasad

Dec 22, 2020

2 min read

Kushner’s first direct flight from Israel lands in Morocco

Jared Kushner, the US presidential advisor, will be visiting Morocco from Israel. The first direct flight will arrive today after the resumption of ties between the two countries. The kingdom, under the auspices of President Donald Trump, is the fourth Arab country to make this decision recently.

The resumption of relations between Morocco and Israel will probably follow the signing of several agreements. This recovery also includes the facilitation of direct flights between the two countries and the development of relations in the economic and technological fields, as announced on November 10 by the Moroccan Royal Court.Every year, about 70,000 Jews visit Morocco, most of them from Israel, but with no-direct flights. Many of them come to celebrate religious ceremonies in Moroccan Jewish shrines.

The arrival of Kushner from Israel to the kingdom is also one of the victories of the Trump administration in the Middle East, less than a month before his term expires. In exchange for the resumption of relations with Israel, Morocco, in dispute with the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, has obtained US recognition of its sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

The decision by Trump also included the declaration of the intention of the United States to open a consulate in the Western Sahara city of Dakhla. In Morocco, the Western Sahara issue is considered a national issue, just as it is for the Palestinian cause.According to political science researcher Khadija Mohsen Fannan in an article on “Orion 21.” the declaration by the US of the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara in return for the kingdom’s normalisation of its relations with Israel was a bombshell.

Although Moroccans around the world celebrated the “the Moroccan of the Sahara,” last week, local authorities banned two protests in Rabat against the normalisation of relations with Israel. At the international level, Russia, Algeria, and the Polisario Front consider the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara by the United States illegal, as it violates the United States’ resolutions.

Morocco had formerly formed diplomatic ties with Israel, where some 700,000 Moroccan descendants reside. They signed the Oslo Peace Agreement in the 1990s, before Morocco formally ended these relations following the 2000 Palestinian uprising.According to the Moroccan media, the termination of official relations between the two countries did not prevent the continuation of trade of 149 million dollars between 2014 and 2017. In addition, Morocco is among Israel’s top five customers in Africa, a Franco-Israeli Chamber of Commerce bulletin said.

In an article published in the Jerusalem Post, the editor of the Moroccan daily newspaper ‘Al-Ahdath,’ known for being loyal to the royal family, Ahmed Al-Sharia, said that the resumption of ties with Israel confirms a relationship that has been in place for 60 years, including intelligence and security cooperation.