“It’s a new step forward that opens a new stage”. It is with these words that the Moroccan researcher Moussaoui Ajlaoui commented on Israel’s recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara. It was the Royal Cabinet that announced this good news in a statement made public last Monday informing public opinion of the letter that the Sovereign received from the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu. “Through this letter, the Israeli Prime Minister brought to the Very High Attention of His Majesty the King, may God assist him, the decision of the State of Israel to ‘recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over the territory of Western Sahara'”, we read in this press release. “The importance of this recognition lies above all in the development of bilateral relations between Morocco and Israel, especially in the economic, security, military and financial fields,” said Moussaoui Ajlaoui, associate researcher at Ames-Center, in a statement to Libé. It should be noted that “the Israeli Prime Minister has indicated that his country’s position will be reflected in all relevant acts and documents of the Israeli government” and “that said decision will be transmitted to the United Nations, regional and international organizations of which Israel is a member, as well as to all countries with which Israel maintains diplomatic relations”. In addition, Benyamin Netanyahu informed the Sovereign that Israel “is positively considering the opening of a consulate in the city of Dakhla”. “This means that we could soon see the elevation of the status of the liaison office in Rabat to the rank of embassy. Because, one cannot conceive the opening of an Israeli consulate in Dakhla without the preliminary opening of an embassy in Rabat. And this is perhaps what the Israeli media noted about the appointment of the first military attaché in Morocco,” our interlocutor said. According to Moussaoui Ajlaoui, this recognition was foreseeable especially since the visit of the speaker of the Knesset, Amir Ohana, to the Kingdom last June. “I have said it before and I say it again now, as Speaker of the Knesset, very clearly: Israel should move forward towards this goal of recognizing the Moroccanness of the Sahara, just like our closest ally, the United States of America”, he affirmed during a press conference held after a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami. In addition, Moussaoui Ajlaoui recalled the Royal speech of August 20, 2022, in which HM King Mohammed VI clearly underlined that the development of Rabat’s relations with other countries of the world is closely linked to their position on the question of the Moroccan Sahara. “I would like to send a clear message to everyone: the Sahara issue is the prism through which Morocco considers its international environment. It is also clearly and simply the yardstick that measures the sincerity of the friendships and the effectiveness of the partnerships that he establishes”, specified the Sovereign in the said speech delivered on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People. This new recognition is, according to Moussaoui Ajlaoui, a message to other countries which are still reluctant to take a decisive step or “to leave the comfort zone”, in particular France. “Either these countries are part of the process that is underway by supporting Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara, or they will remain on the sidelines”, insisted the Moroccan researcher. In his analysis, Moussaoui Ajlaoui highlighted another point related to the tripartite agreement signed in 2020 between Morocco, the United States and Israel. “It emerges from the course of events that the Israeli recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara has nothing to do with the tripartite agreement, which will remain open, because there are commitments to be honored by the parties to this agreement”, specified our interlocutor. And to add: “As an example, the agreement contains specific commitments for the United States, in particular the opening of a consulate in the Sahara. Admittedly, a step has been taken by opening a virtual consulate and the Biden administration no longer distinguishes between the southern provinces and the rest of the Kingdom in all its official reports and maps, but Morocco is still waiting for the United States of America to fulfill what they signed in said agreement. They understood this and began to send delegations to Dakhla and Laâyoune, but within the framework of youth and development programs, among others. But for Morocco, this is not enough. For this reason, we cannot link the Israeli recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara to the tripartite agreement”. In addition, Moussaoui Ajlaoui underlined that the development of relations between Rabat and Tel-Aviv cannot be done in any case to the detriment of the rights of the Palestinians. “Israel is aware of this fact and knows that the Sovereign has a special status as chairman of the Al-Quds Committee. For this, Morocco’s position vis-à-vis what is happening in the Palestinian territories remains unchanged. This is why Morocco has repeatedly condemned what is happening in Al Quds or Jenin”, concluded Moussaoui Ajlaoui, while hoping that this new recognition opens the way to unblocking the situation in the Middle East.
Morocco increasingly confirmed in its rights
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