Israel’s Foreign Minister Starts Historic Visit to Morocco

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid landed in Morocco Wednesday afternoon, for the highest-level visit by an Israeli official since the two countries normalized relations last year after nearly two decades. The countries have not, however, established full diplomatic ties. Lapid was greeted at the airport in Rabat by Morocco’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohcine Jazouli, Foreign Ministry Director-General Fouad Yazur and Director of Protocol Anas Khales.

During his two-day visit, Lapid is scheduled to meet with Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita. He will open an Israel liaison office in the capital, Rabat, and is scheduled to meet in Casablanca with members of the local Jewish community and pray in its Temple Beth-El synagogue.

He is accompanied on the visit by Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen, who was born in Essaouira, Morocco, and other government officials. The visit comes less than a month after direct flights resumed between Israel and Morocco. About a million Jews of Moroccan origin live in Israel. Tens of thousands of them are expected to travel to Morocco in the wake of re-established ties.

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