Under the agreement, Morocco will establish full diplomatic relations and resume official contacts with Israel.
Israel and Morocco agreed on Thursday to normalise relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Morocco the fourth Arab country to set aside hostilities with Israel in the past four months.
As part of the agreement, US President Donald Trump agreed to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, where there has been a decades-old territorial dispute with Morocco pitted against the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a breakaway movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory.
Trump sealed the agreement in a phone call on Thursday with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.
Morocco is the fourth country since August to strike a deal aimed at normalising relations with Israel. The others were the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Morocco’s decision to normalise relations with Israel in a United States-brokered deal has elicited mixed global reactions.
Palestinians have been critical of the normalisation deals, saying Arab countries have set back the cause of peace by abandoning a long-standing demand that Israel gives up land for a Palestinian state before it can receive recognition.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose country has been linked since 1979 by a peace treaty with Israel, welcomed the announcement.
El-Sisi hailed the deal as an “important step towards more stability and regional cooperation” in the Middle East.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya welcomed the announcement but rejected Trump’s recognition of Western Sahara as part of Moroccan territory.
“Regarding the normalisation of relations between Morocco and Israel, we welcome that normalisation, as we have welcomed each and every one of the normalisations that have taken place in recent weeks,” said Laya.
The United Nations
Following the announcement, the UN said its position was “unchanged” on the disputed Western Sahara region.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes “the solution to the question can still be found based on Security Council resolutions”, his spokesperson said.
The UN chief’s message to the two parties “is to avoid any action that could further aggravate a tense situation”, the spokesperson added.
SOURCE : AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES