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Israel: Unsure when Morocco will appoints an envoy

Image of Israel's ambassador in Cairo, David Govrin [YouTube]
Israel’s ambassador to Morocco, David Govrin, 24 March 2017 [YouTube]

Israel supports direct negotiations between the parties involved in the Western Sahara conflict, the newly appointed Ambassador to Morocco, David Govrin, said.

He went on to deny knowledge of Morocco's use of drones against the Polisario Front in the Sahara.

Govrin refused to answer journalists' questions about Rabat's alleged purchase of Israeli made Pegasus spyware, saying: "I prefer not to answer this question."

Morocco and Israel re-established ties in December last year after the US agreed to recognise Rabat's sovereignty over the Western Sahara. To date, however, Morocco has not appointed its envoy to Tel Aviv.

Asked about when this would happen, Govrin said: "There is no specific date, but as it is known, I was appointed two weeks ago as Israel's ambassador to Morocco, and we hope Morocco will appoint an ambassador for him soon."

Morocco has been in conflict with the Algeria-backed separatist Polisario group over the Western Sahara since 1975, after the Spanish occupation ended. It turned into an armed confrontation that lasted until 1991 and ended with the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

Rabat insists on its right to govern the region, but proposed autonomous rule in the Western Sahara under its sovereignty, but the Polisario Front wants a referendum to let the people determine the future of the region. Algeria has been supporting the Front's proposal and hosts refugees from the region.

The 1991 ceasefire came to an end last year after Morocco resumed military operations in the El Guergarat crossing, a buffer zone between the territory claimed by the state of Morocco and the self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which the Polisario said was a provocation.

By launching the operation, Morocco "seriously undermined not only the ceasefire and related military agreements but also any chances of achieving a peaceful and lasting solution to the decolonisation question of the Western Sahara," Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, said in a letter to the UN.

READ: Normalising ties with Israel a 'crime', says Morocco party

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