“In recent months, Morocco has begun to link the opening of an embassy in Tel Aviv to the official recognition by the Israeli government of its sovereignty in Western Sahara”, according to four current and former Israeli officials directly involved in the question, reports the Israeli news site Axios in its edition of January 4, 2023.
The outlet adds that President Trump’s recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara two years ago was part of a larger agreement that included the restoration of diplomatic relations between Israel and Morocco. Morocco has opened diplomatic liaison offices in Israel instead of an embassy, but in January 2021 King Mohammed VI told Netanyahu during a call that he was committed to opening an embassy in the country. part of the next phase of the process, says Axios.
During a visit to Morocco in June 2022, then-Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told local media that Israel recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. But Israel’s Foreign Ministry quickly backtracked on Shaked’s statement, saying “Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara is a positive development.” A few weeks later, Israel’s former justice minister, Gideon Saar, visited Morocco and publicly declared that Western Sahara was part of Morocco. But Israel’s Foreign Ministry once again distanced itself from the statement and reiterated its more nuanced position.