RABAT, Morocco 

Moroccan King Mohammed VI received a joint US-Israeli delegation Tuesday that arrived in the country to finalize a normalization deal between Jerusalem and Rabat. 

Speaking at a joint press conference following the meeting between the king and the delegation, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the talks were positive and a joint tripartite cooperation agreement was signed to boost ties.

Bourita also said that the parties agreed to establish mutual communication offices within two weeks.

He said Morocco agreed with the US and Israel to “fully abide by the agreement items, as well as supporting and defending them.”

“The agreement stipulates that the parties fulfill their obligations fully and that other steps should be taken before the end of January,” Bourita said.

He noted that the deal also included the establishment of fraternal and diplomatic relations.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner expressed his appreciation to the Moroccan king for the “strategic decisions.”

Kushner said the US recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty in Western Sahara and it will “soon” open a consulate in Dakhla. He recalled that one of the first countries to recognize the US was the Kingdom of Morocco, in 1777.

Israeli Chief of Staff for National Security Meir Ben Shabbat said the first direct commercial flight from Israel to Morocco, which brought them from Tel Aviv to Rabat, was a “historical moment” and said peace between the two countries “made everyone happy, especially the Moroccan Jews.”

In the joint press release, it was announced that the agreements include joint cooperation between the two countries in the fields of civil aviation, technology, trade, and finance and investment.

Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalize relations with Israel in 2020 after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the accords ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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