Morocco-US-Israel Tripartite Agreement: Important Achievements, Promising Prospects

The Kingdom of Morocco, the United States of America and the State of Israel celebrate, this Wednesday, the first anniversary of the Tripartite Agreement, signed on December 22, 2020, in Rabat, paving the way for a fruitful cooperation with promising prospects between the three countries. This first year of the Agreement, which formalized the resumption of ties between Morocco and the State of Israel, has allowed significant progress marked by the strengthening of relations on the bilateral and trilateral levels in various areas, including at the level of politics, diplomacy and economy. These advances have allowed, through an intensive exchange between Moroccan and Israeli officials, the establishment of five sector-based working groups that have worked to facilitate the conclusion of collaboration agreements in many areas, including investment, agriculture, water, environment, tourism, science, innovation and energy. This exchange was crowned by the visits to Morocco of the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and future Prime Minister, Mr. Yair Lapid and the Israeli Minister of Defense, Mr. Beny Gantz, respectively on August 10 and 11 and on November 24 and 25, 2021. These visits led to the signing of 12 agreements covering various fields, the reopening of Liaison Offices, the opening of communication channels between the business communities and the launch of direct flights operated by airlines of both countries. The arrival of Israeli tourists in the Kingdom has also been a breath of fresh air for the various operators in the tourism value chain in the difficult context of the health crisis and demonstrated Moroccans’ spirit of tolerance and coexistence. The human dimension is very present in the relations between Morocco and Israel, as the resumption of relations between the two countries responds to the strong ties and the unwavering attachment of the Jewish community of Moroccan origin to its country and to the august person of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The momentum in relations between Morocco and Israel will therefore open up promising economic prospects for the Kingdom, which will be able to benefit from Israeli expertise in several high value-added activities and from a transfer of technological know-how. At the same time, Morocco-US cooperation, already elevated to the rank of major strategic partnership with multiform contours (politics, economy, security, etc.) has been significantly strengthened over the past twelve months. It should be recalled that the two countries are celebrating 200 years of friendship and 15 years of the signing of the Free Trade Agreement, the only agreement of this nature of the United States with the African continent. Currently, more than 150 U.S. companies operating in Morocco have invested more than $2 billion and created more than 100,000 jobs, not to mention the Morocco Future Leaders program, launched in the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, which aims to support young people to become successful civic leaders in their communities. This privileged partnership was further reinforced during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Mr. Nasser Bourita, to Washington, during which the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, highlighted the reform agenda of HM King Mohammed VI, while stating that the long-standing bilateral partnership is rooted in shared interests for regional peace, security and prosperity and emphasizing Morocco’s key role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. This visit was also an opportunity to reaffirm the Joint Declaration between Morocco, Israel and the United States and to exchange on ways and means to move forward in the implementation of this declaration and to strengthen cooperation between the three countries in various fields. Another manifestation of the strategic and multifaceted partnership between the Kingdom and the United States is the holding, from 07 to 18 June 2021, of the military exercises “African Lion”, cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the largest exercise of the U.S. Africa Command, with over 7,000 participants from nine countries and NATO. Regarding the national cause, the United States, which has reiterated its recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces, reaffirmed last November its support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative as a serious, credible and realistic solution to definitively close the regional dispute over the Sahara. In addition, Morocco, the United States of America and Israel intend to continue the implementation of the elements contained in the Tripartite Declaration and work to promote peace and stability in the Middle East in order to achieve a final and comprehensive settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is worth mentioning that during a telephone call between His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, the Sovereign announced that he places the Palestinian cause at the top of his concerns, that he will never renounce his role in defending the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, that he will remain, as he has always been, King, government and people, at the side of our Palestinian brothers, and that he will continue his constructive engagement to achieve the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East region.