Morocco confirmed on Thursday (10 December) it would resume diplomatic relations with Israel “with minimal delay” and lauded as “historic” a decision by Washington to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara region. “The Tectonic plates are shifting,” said Aaron Klein, strategic adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a comment after the announcement by US President Donald Trump of the normalization of ties between Israel and Morocco, writes

It’s the fourth normalization deal in the past four months between Israel and Arab countries, after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. These nations follow in the wake of Egypt and Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

“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!” tweeted Trump after a phone conversation with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

The agreement is part of a deal in which the United States will recognize the disputed territory of Western Sahara as part of Morocco, becoming the only Western country to do so.

The deal also includes agreeing to allow overflights and also direct flights to and from Israel for all Israelis.

Morocco and Israel had respectively maintained liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat in the 1990s, before closing them in 2000.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told Reuters: “They are going reopen their liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv immediately with the intention to open embassies. And they are going to promote economic cooperation between Israeli and Moroccan companies.”

In a webinar organized by JNS on Thursday, Aaron Klein, strategic adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said: “The entire concept of peace that we are seeing unfold now between Israel and the UAE, between Israel and Bahrain, Israel and Sudan, now Israel and Morocco, a lot of this traces back to the Netanyahu Doctrine, peace through strength, peace in exchange for peace.”

Morocco confirmed Thursday it would resume diplomatic relations with Israel “with minimal delay” and lauded as “historic” a decision by Washington to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara region.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI  said his country’s quest for full sovereignty over the Western Sahara “will never be at the expense of the struggle of the Palestinian people for its legitimate rights.”

In a phone call Thursday, King Mohammed VI informed Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas about the content of a telephone conversation he held with US President Donald Trump, said Morocco’s official news agency MAP.

In his conversation with the Palestinian leader, King Mohamed VI stressed that Morocco’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause is “steadfast and unchanged.” He also pointed out that the kingdom “backs the two-state solution and believes that negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis is the only way to reach a final and durable solution to the conflict.”

The King added that Morocco always “considers the Palestinian cause as being at the same level (as) the cause of the Moroccan Sahara. Morocco’s actions to further anchor the Moroccan character of the Moroccan Sahara will never be at the expense of the struggle of the Palestinian people for its legitimate rights.”

US shift on Sahara issue 

The US president also “recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump’s agreement to change US policy toward the Western Sahara was the linchpin to securing Morocco’s agreement and a major shift from a mostly neutral stance.

In Rabat, Morocco’s royal court said Washington would open a consulate in Western Sahara as part of Morocco’s deal with Israel.