Trump Brokers Deal Between Israel and Morocco, Kushner Says Saudi Arabia is ‘an Inevitability’

Jared Kushner, senior advisor to the president, said this deal "comes on four years of very, very hard work and diplomacy.” In this photo provided by the Moroccan News Agency (MAP), Kushner, left, prepares to have a meal in the Moroccan royal residence in Sale, Morocco, with Moroccan King Mohammed VI, center, and Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, right, May 28, 2019.

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on December 11, 2020

Israel and Morocco have agreed to a deal to normalize ties, President Donald Trump announced Thursday on Twitter. Morocco is the fourth Muslim-majority nation to normalize relations with Israel in four months, following United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., celebrated the move on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/AmbDermer/status/1337067454531559426

As part of the deal both countries have agreed to allow direct flights for airlines. Jared Kushner, senior advisor to the president, told reporters the nations will “reopen their liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv immediately with the intention to open embassies.” He added that they will also “promote economic cooperation between Israeli and Moroccan companies.”

“This comes on four years of very, very hard work and diplomacy,” Kushner said. The Moroccan deal has been under discussion since 2017, the New York Times reported.

Trump Makes Proclamation Recognizing Moroccan Sovereignty Over Western Sahara

The deal comes as the White House announced Thursday that it recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, a disputed territory. The proclamation promises “the United States will encourage economic and social development with Morocco, including in the Western Sahara territory, and to that end will open a consulate in the Western Sahara territory, in Dakhla, to promote economic and business opportunities for the region.”

Trump announced this proclamation in two tweets at the same time as he announced the normalization of Israeli-Moroccan relations.

“A Warm Peace” That Many Palestinian Leaders Did Not Welcome

At a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony two hours after Trump’s announcement on Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the deal as “historic.”

“This will be a very warm peace. On this Hanukkah, the light of peace has never shone brighter than today in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

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Palestinians have been critical of the Abraham Accords for normalizing relations with Israel without the longstanding demand of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad both called the deal a “betrayal.”

Moroccan King Mohammmed defended his decision to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, saying he still stands by a two-state solution.

Saudi Arabia Coming Soon?

Kushner said Saudi Arabia will normalize relations with Israel in time.

“Israel and Saudi Arabia coming together and having full normalization at this point is an inevitability, but the timeframe, obviously, will come — is something that has to be worked out,” Kushner told reporters.

 

Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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