- Title: Morocco hails Israel ties during envoy's visit, urges peace with Palestinians
- Date: 11th August 2021
- Summary: RABAT, MOROCCO (AUGUST 11, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER, YAIR LAPID, ARRIVING AT MOROCCAN FOREIGN MINISTRY HEADQUARTERS ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER, YAIR LAPID AND MOROCCO'S FOREIGN MINISTER, NASSER BOURITA, STANDING FOR PHOTOS VARIOUS OF BOURITA, LAPID, AND DELEGATIONS TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOROCCO'S FOREIGN MINISTER, NASSER BOURITA, SAYING: (AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING) (SOUNDBITE ON WIDE SHOT) "The Moroccan Kingdom's ties with Israel are unlike any other ties that you all know. The context is special because the Hebrew origins are deeply rooted in the Moroccan Kingdom's constitution as one of the origins that enrich the diverse Moroccan identity." VARIOUS OF MINISTERS SIGNING AGREEMENTS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOROCCO'S FOREIGN MINISTER, NASSER BOURITA, SAYING: (AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING) "Today, there is a need to restore trust between all parties to reach peace, stability, and flourishing conditions in the region. Rebuilding trust, committing to calmness, and refraining from fuelling tension are important in order to pave the way for a political solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution." BOURITA AND LAPID SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER, YAIR LAPID, SAYING: (AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING) (SOUNDBITE ON WIDE SHOT) "Today, we are changing this. Today, we are changing this for the benefit of tourism and economy, for trade and cultural exchange, for friendship and cooperation." ISRAELI AND MOROCCAN FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER, YAIR LAPID, SAYING: (AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING) "The agreements that we will sign and signing here today will bring our countries innovation and opportunities for the benefit of our children and their children after them for years to come."
- Embargoed: 25th August 2021 20:30
- Keywords: Israel Lapid Morocco Nasser Bourita Normalisation of ties between Israel and Morocco Palestine Politics Yair Lapid
- Location: RABAT, MOROCCO
- City: RABAT, MOROCCO
- Country: Morocco
- Topics: Africa,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EPU6RT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. SOUNDBITE AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING.
Morocco's foreign minister told his visiting Israeli counterpart on Wednesday (August 11) that their countries' newly upgraded ties would bring economic benefits, and urged him to work towards a two-state solution in Israel's long-running conflict with the Palestinians.
Nasser Bourita hosted Yair Lapid in the first visit by Israel's top diplomat to the North African kingdom since 2003, after the two countries agreed in December to resume diplomatic relations under a U.S.-brokered deal.
Those accords, engineered by former U.S. President Donald Trump, also saw Washington recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, in a diplomatic boon for Rabat.
Morocco and Israel relaunched direct flights last month, and during a meeting at the Moroccan foreign ministry on Wednesday, Bourita and Lapid signed three cooperation agreements dealing with diplomatic consultation, culture, and air transit.
"Our ties with Israel are unlike any other ties," Bourita, standing alongside Lapid, told reporters, saying that Morocco's Jewish heritage was a core component of its identity.
But reiterating Morocco's long-standing support for the Palestinians, Bourita urged all parties "to pave the way for a political solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution."
Morocco was one of four Arab countries - along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan - to move towards normalising relations with Israel last year under U.S.-engineered accords.
Those agreements angered Palestinians, who have long relied on Arab support in their quest for statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza. Until last year, only two Arab states - Egypt and Jordan - had forged full ties with Israel.
During his two-day visit, Lapid will inaugurate Israel's diplomatic mission in Rabat and visit Casablanca's Temple Beth-El - a centrepiece of the country's historic Jewish community.
(Production: Abdelhak Balhaki, Mai Shams El-Din)
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