Israel and Morocco have agreed to normalize relations, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, marking the fourth Arab-Israel agreement in four months.
As part of the deal, the U.S. will recognize Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region.
Trump said Israel and Morocco would restore diplomatic and other relations, including the immediate reopening of liaison offices and the eventual opening of embassies. U.S. officials said the agreement would also include joint flight rights for airlines.
The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed in a conversation that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”
Trump called the deal a “massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”
Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2020
The U.S. will also recognize the country’s claim over Western Sahara, the former Spanish North African territory that has been at the center of a long-running dispute that has confounded international negotiators for decades, the White House said in a statement.
Morocco is the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel as the administration seeks to expand the reach of its so-called Abraham Accords, which were signed over the summer by the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain and Sudan have followed suit and administration officials have also been trying to bring Saudi Arabia into the group.
“The president reaffirmed his support for Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory and as such the president recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory,” the White House said.
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