Two days after Israel recognized the sovereignty of the disputed Western Sahara, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Morocco’s king extended an invitation for an official visit.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco, in a personal letter verified by Morocco’s national news agency MAP, expressed gratitude to Israel for its position and conveyed that Netanyahu’s visit would pave the way for new prospects to enhance bilateral relations.
A date for the visit is yet to be specified, the prime minister’s statement said.
While Morocco asserts that Western Sahara belongs to its territory, the Algerian-backed Polisario Front advocates for an independent state in the region. In 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged Morocco’s claim to the territory in exchange for Morocco’s reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.
As a sign of what Morocco perceives as tangible support for its authority in Western Sahara, twenty-eight predominantly African and Arab countries have established consulates in the cities of Dakhla or Laayoune in the region.
In the letter King Mohammed VI also expressed his appreciation for Israel’s consideration to potentially open a consulate in Western Sahara.
Following Israel’s announcement on Monday, a senior government official from Morocco informed media that the process of upgrading Morocco’s liaison office in Israel to an embassy is currently in progress.
The official further emphasized that Israel’s recognition would not compromise Morocco’s commitment to upholding the principles of a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.