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Israeli ministers reach out to homeland Morocco

Israeli ministers of Moroccan origins rejoice over tightening bilateral relations with Israel, multiplying their contacts with ministers in their homeland.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed on Feb. 9 a senior Moroccan delegation that arrived in Israel to reopen the country’s liaison office. Moroccan diplomat Abderrahim Beyyoud will head the Tel Aviv bureau. In parallel, David Govrin, who heads Israel’s liaison office in Rabat, met today for the first time with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. Morocco's King Mohammed VI had already indicated that the opening of mutual embassies was near.

Still, Israel-Morocco relations are not just a matter of diplomacy and diplomats. On Feb. 8, Israel's Minister of Public Security Amir Ohana spoke over the phone with his Moroccan counterpart, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, in a conversation that was reportedly especially warm and friendly. At the beginning of the conversation, Ohana greeted Laftit in Moroccan Arabic, noting that as a son of Moroccan immigrants, reestablishing bilateral ties is of special significance for him. He had waited many years for this to happen, he said. The two ministers then invited each other to visit their home countries in order to promote cooperation in the field of public security. They agreed to meet in the near future either in Morocco or Israel.

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