Dec 15, 2020 - World

U.S.-Israeli delegation to travel to Morocco to discuss resuming diplomatic ties

Kushner and Meir ben Shabbat

Kushner (R) with Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) in Abu Dhabi in August. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

A senior U.S.-Israeli delegation will travel to Morocco next Tuesday to begin talks on resuming diplomatic relations between Israel and Morocco, traveling on the first-ever direct flight of an Israeli airline from Tel Aviv to Rabat, U.S. officials told me.

Why it matters: The trip will take place 10 days after President Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize Western Sahara as part of Morocco, a historic and controversial decision that paved the way for Morocco to begin the process of normalizing diplomatic ties with Israel.

Between the lines: The reason the trip is happening so quickly after the announcement is so that the Trump administration can ensure the process starts moving before Jan. 20, out of concern the Biden administration might roll back some of Trump’s policy moves.

Details: The delegation will be headed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat.

  • The delegation will also include White House envoy Avi Berkowitz, International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler, and senior Israeli officials from different government ministries.
  • Kushner and his team will arrive in Israel on Monday and hold meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. They will travel the next day to Rabat on Flight No. 212 — the international calling code of Morocco.

Go deeper: Fallout between Trump and top GOP senator made Morocco-Israel deal possible

Go deeper