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Vol 61 No 25

Published 17th December 2020


King reaps Saharan dividend

Rabat has secured a big diplomatic win by restoring relations with Israel, but also faces new risks

This summer, King Mohammed VI (M6) told United States presidential son-in-law and Middle East envoy Jared Kushner that Morocco would need a very big reward for restoring diplomatic relations with Israel. US recognition of the kingdom's sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara would be the least Rabat needed to counter possible public anger. M6 is Chair, after all, of the Islamic states' Al Qods Committee, a prized (in Morocco) diplomatic role. Joining the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Sudan in agreeing to President Donald Trump's 'Abraham Accords' was discussed with senior Israelis and Trump's special envoy Avi Berkowitz by M6's go-betweens – including veteran Moroccan Jewish community leader Serge Berdugo, wealthy businessman Yariv Elbaz and foreign intelligence head Yassine Mansouri.

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