Tuesday, 22 December 2020 | Editor’s Note: The first direct commercial flight between Israel and Morocco takes off today—less than two weeks after the two countries announced the normalization of diplomatic ties in a US-brokered agreement. The flight carries an Israeli–American delegation from Tel Aviv to Rabat to seal the normalization deal and sign a number of agreements with their Moroccan counterparts.
The Israel–Morocco deal marks the fourth diplomatic peace pact orchestrated by the Trump administration—following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan—as part of the Abraham Accords, which has reshaped alliances in the Middle East, rallying decades-old foes as friends around the shared concern of Iranian hegemony.
US Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner touched down in Israel yesterday to head the American delegation flying to Morocco. During a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kushner yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, the Israeli premier thanked Kushner for the pivotal role the Trump administration played in bringing peace to the troubled region. Netanyahu also wished Kushner all the best ahead of the historic visit to Morocco.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to Jerusalem. Together with our National Security Advisor, Meir Ben-Shabbat, you, Jared, will be leading a joint Israeli–American delegation to Morocco. This is a groundbreaking visit that will expedite the normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco.
“I remember, Jared, back in 2017 when President [Donald] Trump first called upon you to advance these efforts, to bring peace to the Middle East, all the experts you know, the so-called experts, belittled your appointment. By the way, I ask you don’t take it personally; they do it to me too.
“Over the years I’ve met countless individuals from different countries who have tried to advance peace in the Middle East. Many were appointed by their governments, some were appointed by international organizations and some appointed themselves. They all espoused noble values, noble intentions, they all thought to leave their mark, but few, I think none actually, had greater success than you, Jared.
“President Trump’s Abraham peace initiative has already created a whole series of breakthroughs. Peace with the United Arab Emirates, peace with Bahrain, peace with Sudan and now peace with Morocco. That’s four peace agreements in a few months. There will be more to come. I believe many more if we pursue these policies.
“In doing all this, Jared, you’ve successfully reinforced American leadership in the Middle East and in Middle East peacemaking. I think you’ve greatly enhanced American standing in the region. Now, in addition to advancing peace between Arabs and Israel, Arab states and Israel, you’ve also taken a pivotal role, had a pivotal role, in President Trump’s peace plan. It’s the only realistic peace plan that has been presented so far that addresses Israel’s fundamental national security interests and other interests.
“You can be proud of your contribution to normalizing Israel’s relations with the Arab and Muslim world and for peace in the Middle East.
“I want to thank President Trump for his staunch support and leadership, for all that he has done for the State of Israel. I think we’re all deeply indebted to him, deeply indebted to his great actions and his great leadership and we think that these achievements will stand like these peace agreements. I thank you, Jared, and I want to thank all of you for assisting this great effort. We will never forget it. Thank you all.”
Posted on December 22, 2020
Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/flickr.com
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