Israel recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara

In his letter, Benjamin Netanyahu specifies that his country’s position “will be reflected in all relevant acts and documents of the Israeli government.” The Israeli leader added, according to excerpts from his message that were included in the document, a press release.

Related topics: Morocco and Israel sign new cooperation agreements

Finally, Benjamin Netanyahu informed the Moroccan sovereign that Israel is positively considering “opening a consulate in the city of Dakhla” located in the part of Western Sahara controlled by the kingdom. Rabat wants its allies to open diplomatic representation offices in Western Sahara in recognition of the “Moroccanity” of the vast territory and a pledge of their support for the kingdom. Indeed, for King Mohammed VI, “the issue of the Sahara is the perspective through which Morocco considers its international environment,” he stressed during a televised address.

Welcome decision

“This decision is part of a dynamic that began in recent years, with the United States recognizing the Kingdom’s sovereignty over its southern provinces (Western Sahara), supporting the 15-year autonomy plan and opening about thirty consulates in Laayoune and Dakhla,” a senior Moroccan official told AFP, provided Anonymity. “This recognition reinforces that momentum.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the decision in Jerusalem. “This measure will strengthen relations between countries and peoples, and continue cooperation to promote regional peace and stability,” he said.

Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, is considered by the United Nations to be a “non-self-governing territory” in the absence of a final settlement. For nearly 50 years, Morocco has been fighting separatists from the Polisario Front, backed by Algeria. Rabat calls for an autonomy plan under its exclusive sovereignty, while the Polisario calls for a referendum of self-determination under the auspices of the United Nations.

Morocco and Israel normalized diplomatic relations in December 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords, a process between Israel and several Arab countries, with the support of Washington.

tense regional context

The Israeli decision, which was expected, comes in a climate of escalating rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, as the two neighbors severed their diplomatic relations in 2021 at the initiative of Algeria.

This alliance between Morocco and Israel – in exchange for US recognition of “Moroccan sovereignty” over Western Sahara – has exacerbated tensions with Algeria, which denounced “foreign maneuvers”.

September 2021: “The situation between Algeria and Morocco could get out of control at any time.”

Since the diplomatic normalization, Morocco and Israel have been busy accelerating their cooperation, especially in the military, security, trade and tourism fields. Thus, today, Monday, the Israeli Chief of Staff announced the appointment of a military attaché for the first time in Morocco, Colonel Sharon Aytah. He prendra ses fonctions in his prochains, a precisé of a porte-parole militaire to the AFP, even though the Israeli bureau of liaison in Rabat must have been elevated to the rank of ambassador and that Maroc has approved of the fairness of this Tel Aviv.

However, this comprehensive rapprochement is not unanimous in Morocco, especially since the rise of ultra-nationalist currents to power in Israel. If the military mobilization weakens, the Palestinian cause continues to arouse great sympathy among the Moroccan people. The senior Moroccan official stressed on Monday that “strengthening our relations with Israel will not be at the expense of our principled position in support of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.”

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