Israel and Morocco are moving ahead with plans to open their respective embassies, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced Thursday during a trip to the North African country.
Morocco, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, all agreed to normalize relations with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords, negotiated by former President Donald Trump toward the end of his presidency.
“We are going to upgrade from liaison offices to embassies,” Lapid said at a news conference.Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita gives a statement during a press conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid in Rabat, Morocco, Aug. 11, 2021.Lapid reportedly told Israeli reporters that he and his counterpart, Nasser Bourita, agreed to open the embassies within two months.
Moroccan officials have not commented so far on the development.
Lapid’s visit to Morocco was the first by an Israeli foreign minister since 2003.
During the meeting, they signed an agreement covering air service between the two countries and cooperating in cultural, athletic and youth activities.
In a tweet, the U.S. Embassy in Rabat called Lapid’s visit “a major step forward.”
As part of the Abraham Accords, the U.S. agreed to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a big win for Rabat. The Biden administration has said it plans to review the decision.
Some 3,000 Jews still live in Morocco, which once boasted a Jewish community of 700,000. Many moved to Israel.
The two countries had liaison offices in the 1990s, but they were closed due to the second Palestinian intifada from 2000 to 2005.Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
 

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