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Morocco, Israel set up working groups to foster cooperation

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Morocco, Israel set up working groups to foster cooperation

Rabat, Jan 30 (IANS) Morocco and Israel have agreed to set up inter-governmental working groups to foster cooperation, after the two countries agreed to establish full diplomatic relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rabat said in a statement.

Such inter-governmental groups will work in cooperation in fields, including investment, agriculture, water, environment, tourism, science, innovation and energy, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement issued on Friday as saying.

This announcement followed a phone call earlier in the day between Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.

The statement added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the working groups will meet online.

“A Moroccan high-level delegation will visit Israel as soon as possible, probably in February, to finalize the terms of these agreements.

“An Israeli delegation, led by Ben-Shabbat, is also expected in Morocco in February,” it said.

Bourita and Ben-Shabbat also “discussed the huge potential of cooperation that will benefit not only Morocco and Israel, but also the entire region”, the statement added.

Earlier this week, the Israeli government voted to approve the recently-announced US-brokered normalisation deal with Morocco, which was signed on December 22, 2020.

It is expected to be brought to the Knesset (Parliament) for approval in the next few days.

This was third such deal the Jewish state inked with an Arab country last year.

The other two countries are the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Morocco had severed relations with Israel in 2000 after the second Palestinian uprising.

Sudan also has agreed to normalise its relations with Israel.

The Jerusalem Post report said that Israel expects to reopen its liaison office in the Moroccan capital Rabat in the coming days.

–IANS

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