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Netanyahu speaks at the UN General Assembly. Photo: Xinhua/Qin Lang via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York last September, an Israeli official told me.

Why it matters: Israel hasn't had diplomatic relations with Morocco since start of the second intifada in 2000. The two countries had full diplomatic relations between 1995 and 2000 after the Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

  • An Israeli official told me that Netanyahu stressed in the meeting that Israel wants to normalize relations with Morocco. He also said that he is interested in visiting Morocco publicly — like the visit he made in November to Oman.
  • Netanyahu and Bourita also discussed efforts to counter Iranian actions in the region, the official told me. Morocco has cut ties with Iran over alleged Iranian attempts to meddle in Moroccan internal affairs.
  • Netanyahu's office did not deny this account and told me: "We do not comment on contacts with countries Israel has no formal relations with."

Go deeper: Israeli report says Saudis won't back Trump peace plan without concessions

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.