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Israel’s Lapid, Herzog out to rehabilitate Israel’s global image

Newly appointed Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and President Isaac Herzog are working to boost Israel's diplomatic ties following some tensions under former PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) shakes hands with European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell (R) during a Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the European Union headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2021.

Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz arrived July 6 to Rabat on an official visit, extending an invitation on the part of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, to visit Israel. In the written invitation, Lapid reportedly stressed that restoring ties between the two countries was a historical milestone. Still, reports July 14 suggest that Lapid might be visiting Rabat first. Apparently, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is in talks with Morocco to arrange such a trip, making Lapid the first senior Israeli official to visit the kingdom since the two countries decided last year to normalize ties.

Earlier this week, Lapid visited Brussels, where he first met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He then met with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and several European foreign ministers, before addressing officially the monthly European Union Foreign Affairs Council. The last Israeli foreign minister to address this forum was Tzipi Livni in 2008.

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