Following their meeting in Rabat, Israeli and Moroccan authorities are debating the action.
Israeli authorities believe that recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara will strengthen Israel’s already-strong ties with Rabat.
The decision is being discussed when Tzachi Hanegbi, national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meets with Nasser Bourita, Moroccan foreign minister, in Rabat on Wednesday.
The officials talked about “intensifying cooperation between the two countries in the areas of statecraft and security,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.
The foreign ministries of Israel and Morocco are debating Western Sahara, according to the director of Israel’s diplomatic mission in Rabat, who added that “both our ministers will make the final decision.”
According to Reuters, Morocco might improve diplomatic ties with Israel in exchange for recognition. The diplomatic missions of the nations, which are now classified as liaison offices, could be upgraded to full embassies. Additionally, a free trade agreement is being considered.
The Western Sahara conflict, which pits the Kingdom of Morocco against the Polisario Front, a national liberation movement that stands in for the native Sahrawi people, continues to be one of Africa’s most difficult and protracted territorial conflicts.
The region is known as the “Southern Provinces” by Morocco, which seized it after Spain left its old colony in 1975. Morocco has rejected the referendum proposal from the Polisario Front and has instead suggested autonomy.
From 1975 until 1991, Polisario and Morocco were at war. In 1991, a cease-fire agreement was reached, and the UN sent MINURSO to supervise the cease-fire and set up an unconcluded referendum.
In camps in Algeria across the border, over 175,000 Sahrawi refugees reside. Algeria disputes Rabat’s accusation that it provided the movement with weapons.
In exchange for Morocco normalizing relations with Israel in 2020, the US recognized Rabat’s claim to sovereignty over the Western Sahara. The Biden Administration still holds to that stance.
Later this year, the summit between Israel and the Arab worlds will take place in Morocco. The first summit was held at the Sde Boker kibbutz in Israel last year, and it brought together the foreign ministers of Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and Morocco.
The meetings’ goal is to strengthen the Abraham Accords by fostering greater cooperation between the nations on issues like security, energy, tourism, education, and water security.
Israel and Morocco have already ratified a number of agreements to deepen their mutual ties, including transportation agreements that permit Israelis to drive in Morocco, promote direct shipping between the two countries, and foster communication on issues relating to traffic safety and transportation innovation.
The travel industry has likewise prompted no less than 200,000 Israelis visiting Morocco, with respective exchange developing between the two nations 2022.