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Morocco ambivalent on Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

By Fahd Iraqi
Posted on Wednesday, 5 February 2020 15:16, updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 10:17

View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. (Photo illustration) © Dan/CC/Flickr

While Tunis and Algiers were strongly critical of the peace plan for the Middle East presented by Donald Trump on Tuesday, 28 January, Rabat was careful not to offend the White House, while maintaining its position on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

The Tunisian Parliament labelled it a “racist” plan that “imposes the sovereignty of the Israeli occupation”.

A “limitation of the right of the Palestinian people,” said the Algerian Foreign Ministry, reiterating its “unwavering and permanent support for the Palestinian cause”.

Trump’s “deal of the century” that is supposed to bring concrete solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has provoked violent reactions in Algiers and Tunis.

In Rabat, on the other hand, diplomacy was more measured.

Constructive efforts for peace

Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told a press briefing, “Morocco appreciates the constructive peace efforts deployed by the current U.S. administration to achieve a just, lasting and equitable solution in the Middle East.”

Bourita refrained from openly criticizing the substance of Trump’s plan, explaining that “in view of the importance of this vision and its scope, the kingdom will examine its details very carefully”.

Nevertheless, he notes that “the acceptance by the parties of the various elements is fundamental to the implementation and sustainability of this plan”.

Even on the status of Jerusalem, one of the main stumbling blocks of the Trump deal, Rabat was ambivalent about showing disagreement.

  • “The kingdom considers that the status of Jerusalem must be preserved,” said the minister, who pointed out, however, that “the final decision must be discussed between the parties, in accordance with international law”.

Morocco has always maintained that open dialogue is necessary, and Bourita stated he was content to “wish that a constructive peace process be launched, with a view to a realistic solution (…), satisfying the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people for an independent, viable and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

It is worth recalling the Trump administration has wooed the Kingdom at length.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to the president, and architect of this “deal of the century”, visited twice in 2019.