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Adviser to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, defended today in Jerusalem “the new framework” of relations created for Israel, of which the United States was the main promoter, as well as the “historic” changes facilitated by Washington in the region.
Kushner, a key player in the U.S. president’s White House, played an important role as a mediator for the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco to establish official ties with Israel in the last four months, this being his main achievement in the region after working for a long time on a peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The presidential advisor and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared their understanding and exchanged compliments today at a joint press conference in Jerusalem, where they took stock of what has been achieved during Trump’s term.
The new framework for these relationships
These years, despite “the complicated challenges” they faced, together they were able to “create a new framework” of relations “that has generated a lot of progress for Israel and the whole world,” Kushner told Netanyahu, before holding a bilateral meeting.
Beyond “the positive feelings, what matters are the results, and I think that together we achieved some historic results,” he added.
“We focused on pursuing the common interests of our countries, we tackled what were apparently unsolvable problems” and “used common sense,” said Kushner, who claimed the four years of close alliance between Trump and Netanyahu, in which the U.S. supported some controversial proposals at the international level, such as the Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu, who presented a plaque of appreciation to Kushner, said that he was the first to have “success” among “countless people from different countries” who for decades “tried to promote peace in the Middle East,” and praised his and Trump’s contribution to “the normalization of Israel’s relations with the Arab and Muslim world.”
“Peace with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and now Morocco,” celebrated Netanyahu, who reiterated that there will soon be “more” pacts with other countries, expected to be announced soon.
On the way to Morocco
Kushner arrived in Israel this afternoon along with a delegation of senior U.S. officials for a brief stay prior to their trip tomorrow to Morocco, where he will accompany an Israeli representation led by National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat.
They will make a historic visit in which they will discuss with Moroccan authorities the establishment of diplomatic ties, a process that both countries want to do quickly in order to strengthen their economic, commercial, tourist and business relations.
The trip of the U.S.-Israeli delegation will be the first direct commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Rabat, and will be operated by the Israeli airline El AL.
They are expected to meet with the King, Mohammed VI, although for the moment no further details of their agenda were disclosed.
Morocco was the last country that this year broke with the consensus around the 2002 Peace Initiative, which conditioned the normalization of the Arab countries with Israel on a peace agreement with the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian State, something that did not take place.
In exchange for its normalization with Israel, Trump recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
Diplomatic and tourist plans
Israeli airlines have already outlined plans to open direct flights to Morocco, and mutual representation offices are expected to open in Rabat and Tel Aviv leading to the establishment of embassies at a later date.
Many Israelis -around a million- have their origins in the historic Moroccan Jewish community and tens of thousands have already visited the country in recent years, despite the lack of official ties between the two.
“Israel and Morocco already had a good relationship and people were traveling,” said Moroccan Tourism Minister Nadia Fetah Allawi in an interview with Israeli television Khan last week.
In the near future, she detailed, Morocco wants to increase the 50,000 annual Israeli tourists to 200,000, and when asked if Rabat invites them to the Western Sahara, she answered -yes- without reservation.