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Israel offers support to Morocco over Western Sahara after summit

ISRAEL voiced support for Morocco’s autonomy proposal for Western Sahara after the countries’ foreign ministers met at an Israel-Arab summit.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosted counterparts from four Arab countries in southern Israel. Following his meeting with Nasser Bourita from Morocco, Lapid issued a statement that the countries would work together to counter “attempts to weaken Moroccan sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Morocco considers Western Sahara its own but an Algeria-backed independence movement demands a sovereign state. Rabat says its 2007 proposal to offer Western Sahara autonomy within Morocco is the most it can propose as a political solution to the conflict.

Lapid lauded a recent decision by Spain to support Morocco’s autonomy plan, calling it “a positive development”.

Morocco agreed in 2020 to normalise ties with Israel under the so-called Abraham Accords that were brokered by the United States. As part of the deal, and in a departure from longstanding U.S. policy, then-President Donald Trump agreed to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.