(February 4, 2020 / JNS) Israel and the United States have been discussing a three-way agreement where the Trump administration would recognize Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara in exchange for Rabat taking steps to normalize relations with Jerusalem, reported Axios and Israel’s Channel 13 on Monday, citing U.S. and Israeli sources.
Were such a move to take place, it could be a significant step in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Trump administration’s goal of forging closer ties between Arab countries and Israel.
Western Sahara, once called Spanish Sahara, was controlled by Spain between 1884 and 1975. Morocco claimed control of the area in 1975 in a move not recognized by the international community and the indigenous population, but was part of the move towards global decolonization, in part prompted by the United Nations.
In December, Netanyahu sought to join U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a visit to Morocco; however, Moroccans rejected the idea when it was proposed to them by the secretary of state, reported Israel Channel 12. The Moroccans refused to even discuss the issue of normalization.
Serious communication between Jerusalem and Rabat began after a secret meeting between Netanyahu and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September 2018.
Netanyahu sought to push the idea of Moroccan sovereignty ahead of the September 2019 election, only to be rejected by then-U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.
At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.
Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.