Israel reopens mission to Morocco after 20 years

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“This is living proof of the changes in the region and the warm peace between us and countries in the region,” Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said.

Meir Ben Shabbat and Jared Kushner meet with King Mohammed VI of Morocco (photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)

Meir Ben Shabbat and Jared Kushner meet with King Mohammed VI of Morocco

(photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)

The Israeli Liaison Office in Morocco reopened on Tuesday when former ambassador to Egypt David Govrin arrived in Rabat. It had been closed for 20 years.

The Israeli Consulate in Dubai also opened, two days after the Israeli Embassy in the United Arab Emirates opened in Abu Dhabi, the capital.

“The arrival of the heads of Israeli missions to Morocco and Dubai completes the first important phase of opening new Israeli missions in the region within the framework of the Abraham Accords,” Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said.

In recent weeks, the number of Israeli missions in the Middle East was multiplied threefold, from two, in Amman and Cairo, to six, with the addition Bahrain, Morocco and two in the UAE, he said.

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“This is living proof of the changes in the region and the warm peace between us and countries in the region,” Ashkenazi said. “This is an important day for peace and an exciting day in the framework of implementing agreements with the UAE and Morocco.”

Govrin will serve as the head of the Israeli Liaison Office in Morocco, which was previously opened in 1994 and closed six years later during the Second Intifada. Morocco had an office in Tel Aviv at the time, which it plans to reopen.

Israel and Morocco plan to establish full diplomatic relations, announced last month within the framework of the Abraham Accords, the peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states negotiated by former US president Donald Trump’s administration.

Govrin plans to work toward advancing diplomatic dialogue between the countries, tourism and cultural and economic exchanges.

The Israeli Consulate in Dubai will be headed by former ambassador to Argentina Ilan Sztulman. He is expected to focus on economic ties between Israel and the UAE, the first country to enter the Abraham Accords, with a special focus on hi-tech.

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Former ambassador to Turkey Eitan Na’eh opened the Israeli Embassy in the UAE on Sunday. The Israeli Embassy in Bahrain opened several weeks ago, using what was once a secret Israeli diplomatic office in Manama.

Govrin’s and Na’eh’s status as chargés d’affaires is temporary until ambassadors are appointed, which is likely to happen after the next government is formed following the March election.

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