Sunday, March 20, 2005

Israel, Morocco to renew relations

Israel and Morocco are set to renew diplomatic relations next month, ending a freeze that lasted for more than four years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, an Israeli television station said Saturday.

Citing an unnamed "senior Moroccan source," a Channel Two TV report said an agreement to renew ties was reached last week between Moroccan King Mohammed VI and Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres in Madrid. Both men were in the Spanish capital for ceremonies marking the first anniversary of train bombings that killed 191 people.

The report said Peres would soon pay an official visit to Morocco. It added that initially Morocco would be represented in Israel by a charge d'affairs, one notch below an ambassador.

The two countries established similar-level relations in the mid-1990s. But Morocco, along with Tunisia, broke off formal ties after the September 2000 outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, although some commercial relations remain.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev could not confirm the report but was optimistic that a thaw could be near. "Israel would hope that Morocco will shortly be renewing relations," he said.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has been in telephone contact with Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohamed Benaissa, since the summit, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Despite the diplomatic chill, Shalom visited Rabat and met the king in September 2003


Anonymous MoRocco said...

I am not too convinsed by the aricle but I honestly hope that it is true!

10:52 AM, May 23, 2007  

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