The State of Israel is determined to continue working with Morocco to develop and strengthen bilateral relations at all levels, assured the spokesman of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lior Haiat, stressing the importance of raising the diplomatic missions between the two countries to the rank of embassies in order to consolidate the ties between the governments and the Moroccan and Israeli people.
In an exclusive interview with MoroccoLatestNews, the spokesperson for Israeli diplomacy said that the good relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and Israel strengthen the opportunities for regional stability and peace in the Middle East. Haiat also noted that some countries prioritize conflict and violence over dialogue and peace. He thus called for the need to cooperate to deal with Iranian threats in the region.
MoroccoLatestNews: The State of Israel has recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara after more than two years of resuming diplomatic relations between the two countries. Why did this measure take so long?
Lior Haiat: It should be mentioned that Israel’s resumption of diplomatic relations with Morocco in December 2020 was an important step towards strengthening stability and prosperity in the Middle East, and since then we have started a serious and broad dialogue with the Moroccan government on a number of issues and files, including the Sahara dossier, which has gained momentum since the arrival of the current Israeli government.
In my opinion, the result of this dialogue, which translates into Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara, is more important than the time taken by this measure. We in Israel are determined to continue working with Morocco to improve and strengthen our relations at all levels.
How would you describe the future of relations between Morocco and Israel after this important step?
We believe that strengthening relations between Israel and Morocco, including relations between the two governments, as well as strengthening trade, tourism and investment, is of great importance. It should be mentioned that Morocco has been home to a Jewish community for hundreds of years, while Israel has a large Moroccan community that forms a significant part of Israeli society.
These two communities serve as a cultural bridge between our two countries, and I am convinced that the good relations between Israel and Morocco will help strengthen regional stability and achieve prosperity and well-being for the peoples of the two countries, and will also help promote the chances of peace in the Middle East.
How do you react to the dissatisfaction of Algeria and the Polisario regarding the recognition of the Moroccan Sahara?
All I can say about this is that the State of Israel is reaching out to all countries to achieve peace in the region. Unfortunately, some nations still prefer conflict, violence and hatred to dialogue and peace. Personally, I believe that the developments and changes resulting from the peace agreements will lead to the normalization of relations with other countries in the Middle East region, and this will contribute to a better future for all our peoples.
Israel appointed a military attaché to Morocco recently. Will this help deal with Iranian influence in the region? Will we see an alliance between Morocco and Israel in this regard?
First, it must be emphasized that Iran poses a significant threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and around the world. One can see Iran’s footprints wherever it engages, engendering poverty, deprivation, violence and terrorism, as is the case in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and everywhere else Tehran tries to spread its Islamic revolution.
We see attempts by Iran and the terrorist organizations it supports to infiltrate throughout the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere in the world. Thus, cooperation to deal with these Iranian threats serves the common interest of all countries in the region.