Commentators from major news outlets have commented that will be among the first to normalize relations with and exchange ambassadors following the –Emirati agreement. As the former US ambassador to and having closely followed the policies and opinions of Mohammed VI for the past 20 years, I am not so sure that will be next.
There are two overriding issues to consider in this regard.has consistently and strongly supported a peace agreement between and , and he may see a agreement with as damaging to such prospects. Also, the timing to act now, during an election year in the US, may be a deterrent for to move too hastily.
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The king has made his viewpoint clear over the past two decades with regard toand used his position as chairman of the ( ) Committee of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to assert strong support for a . At the same time, he has expressed his support for warm and full relations with and seems perfectly situated as the next peace partner with , given the fact that are the second largest ethnic group in , after Russians.
Such a move, however, will have to be balanced with the statements that King Mohammed VI has constantly committed to over the years in his support for . In November 2019, he warned that “the continuing practices in violation of international legitimacy and international humanitarian law in the occupied fuel tension, violence, instability and sow the seeds of religious conflict and hatred,” The Post reports. Following the king’s comments, diplomats reaffirmed ’s steadfast and unwavering support for .
In February of this year, a message from Mohammed VI conveyed to the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, by Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita reaffirmed ’s unwavering support to the Palestinian cause. The number of times the king has reiterated his support for during the past is too numerous to repeat here.
Since the days of— the reigning monarch’s father — have been encouraged to give to the poor in Palestine and have inspired a population deeply supportive of a Palestinian homeland. Mohammed VI would have a hefty price to pay if he went back on his word and didn’t first extract meaningful concessions for the Palestinians before signing any agreement with .
Remember also that the king opposed Gulf countries’ pressure on sanction of Qatar in 2017 and he suspended ’s participation in the war in Yemen in 2019. Such stands took courage for a country so dependent on economic development from the Gulf. Analysts who predict that will be next to sign a peace accord with may not understand the strength of Mohammed’s moral compass.to support their
The other consideration ofto normalize relations with is timing. There’s a joke in that says, “I’m not sure who the next US president will be, but I do know who the king’s best friend will be.” has always avoided partisan gestures during US election cycles dating back to the time when, in 1777, Sultan Mohammed III recognized the independence of the US. was the first country in the world to officially recognize the United States and was among the first countries to sign a treaty of peace and friendship between the two nations. Every monarch since has been careful to avoid the appearance of taking sides in US politics.
understands that if it is not early to the peace party, the country will have less to gain from it. The king will have to balance that notion with his moral authority and long-held beliefs — and those of his citizens — to remain steadfast in support of a , as well as considering US election year timing.
There are obvious reasons forto move quickly toward normalization given cultural and family ties with of descent. For these and other reasons, many watchers believe that when the right concessions are made that include a serious negotiation between the parties that include a contiguous state of , based upon the 1967 borders, with as a capital of both and — and when is not playing into election-year politics — the king will move swiftly to normalize relations.
Many Moroccan and Israeli citizens already know through their cultural and family ties that when that day arrives, their new relationship will be a peaceful, warm and genuine one.
*[This article was originally published by Morocco on the Move.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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