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Morocco, Israel mark anniversary of renewed ties

Morocco, Israel mark anniversary of renewed ties

Israeli soldiers hold their weapons during clashes with Palestinian protesters during a protest against the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, on Oct. 22, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Morocco, Israel and the US on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the US-sponsored resumption of diplomatic relations between the North African kingdom and the Jewish state.

During a video conference, the foreign ministers of the three countries – Nasser Bourita, Yair Lapid and Antony Blinken – welcomed a partnership aimed at establishing what the US secretary of state called “an achievement that has deepened ties, partnerships and avenues to pursue shared goals.”

Bourita said Rabat was committed to helping achieve “a lasting peace in the region.”

Morocco renewed official relations with Israel in December 2020, two decades after it cut ties when the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, began.

The rapprochement was part of a string of normalization deals between Israel and several Arab countries, brokered by the administration of then US president Donald Trump and known as the Abraham Accords.

It infuriated the Palestinians as it shattered the long-standing Arab consensus opposing normalization until Israel agrees to a comprehensive and lasting peace.

On Wednesday, Blinken hailed “a positive step for the region as we aim to widen the circle of peace.”

“The United States is committed to supporting and expanding the Abraham Accords. We’d look forward to seeing your liaison offices becoming embassies in the near future,” he said.

Bourita also accepted an invitation from Lapid to visit Israel “as soon as possible.”