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Morocco denies 'potential' visit by Israeli president

February 1, 2019 at 2:02 am

The Moroccan government’s spokesperson, Mustapha Al-Khalfi, yesterday denied recent reports, claiming that the North African country was expecting a visit by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a press conference held in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, Al-Khalfi refused to answer a question about an “alleged visit” by Netanyahu, describing the news as “rumours.”

On Monday, Moroccan anti-normalisation with Israel activists slammed a recent report by The Times of Israel, which stated that there was a “possible” visit by Netanyahu to Morocco in late March.

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Yesterday, dozens of Moroccans demonstrated, being called by the Moroccan Observatory against Normalisation with Israel, in front of the country’s parliament, in protest at the news.

The Moroccan government has repeatedly confirmed in previous statements that Rabat does not have any official political or commercial relations with “Israel”. Except for Jordan and Egypt, which have signed peace agreements with the occupying state, no Arab country has established formal political, economic, or cultural relations with the occupying state.

Israel has been undertaking a major normalisation drive in recent months, which has seen Netanyahu and other Israeli establishment figures visit Gulf states including OmanBahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Though Israel and its main ally the US have been keen to paint these efforts as a positive step towards Israel’s integration into the region, many are opposed to the initiative.