Morocco rejects normalization with Israel ahead of Kushner’s visit

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Morocco’s prime minister has stressed his country’s opposition to any normalization of relations with Israel ahead of a visit by the US president’s senior advisor Jared Kushner to the Arab country.

“We refuse any normalization with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people,” Saad Dine El Otmani told his Islamist PJD party on Sunday.

His remarks come as US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law is expected to fly to Morocco in the coming days as part of his “multiple-nation visit” to the Middle East that aims to “push Arab-Israeli rapprochement” after Israel and the UAE reached a much-condemned normalization deal.

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Morocco has categorically rejected any rumors of normalization, insisting that it will not accept any compromise that undermines the “just Palestinian cause.”

Morocco and Israel began low-level ties in 1993 after an accord that purportedly sought to enable “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians was reached. But Rabat suspended ties with the Israeli regime after the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in 2000.

The Associated Press quoted three diplomats as saying that Kushner will also visit Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

According to the diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a separate regional tour.

The diplomats said they were not expecting “announcements of an immediate breakthrough.” Rather, the visits aim to “finalize at least one, and potentially more, normalization deals with Israel in the near future.”

Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv announced on August 13 that they had reached a deal that would lead to full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two sides.

The highly controversial deal, which has since been widely condemned across the occupied Palestinian territories and the Muslim world, was brokered by Trump, who has attempted to paint it as a big breakthrough.

The UAE-Israel deal marks the third such normalization agreement the occupying regime has struck with an Arab country after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). Abu Dhabi was already believed to have clandestine relations with Tel Aviv.