Netanyahu expects ties visit by Morocco to Israel next week
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A delegation from Morocco will travel to Israel in the coming week to push the newly normalized relations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.
Netanyahu spoke to the Moroccan King Mohammed VI on Friday. And invited him to visit. An Israeli delegation traveled to Morocco on Tuesday and the countries plan to reopen liaison offices and start direct commercial flights.
"We agreed that the Moroccan delegation will come here earlier this week to move everything forward," said Netanyahu in a video he posted on Twitter describing his conversation with the king.
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A spokesman for the Moroccan government could not be reached for comment. A diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the timing and composition of the delegation had not yet been determined.
Morocco has followed the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan to normalize relations with Israel. The Palestinians have censored US-brokered deals and seen a betrayal of the longstanding demand that Israel should first meet its demand for statehood.
Israel's new partners have also received bilateral benefits from Washington - in Rabat's case, US recognition of its sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Moroccan officials describe their deal with Israel as restoring the middle-level relations that Rabat cooled in solidarity with the Palestinians in 2000.
The King has reaffirmed his position in support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and highlighted the monarchy's "close ties" with the Jewish community in Morocco.
(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Additional reporting by Ahmed El Jechtimi in Rabat; Editing by John Stonestreet)
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