JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will visit Morocco on Wednesday to help deepen ties between the two countries after they agreed to normalize relations last year.
Lapid will lead a delegation to the Moroccan capital of Rabat, where he will inaugurate the Israeli Liaison Office and meet with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
The visit to Morocco will be the first by Israel’s top diplomat since 2003. It is made possible through the “Abraham Accords,” US-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries: The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.
Israel and Morocco had low-level diplomatic relations in the 1990s, but Morocco severed them after the second Palestinian intifada broke out in 2000. The two countries maintained informal ties, and Morocco welcomed thousands of Israeli visitors each year.
“This historic visit is a continuation of the long-standing friendship and deep roots and traditions that the Jewish community in Morocco, and the large community of Israelis with origins in Morocco, have,” Lapid said. “It will be a moment for political and economic activity, and we will continue to work towards agreements that will bring innovation and opportunity to our countries.”
Morocco is home to a centuries-old Jewish community of an estimated several thousand.
Before Israel’s 1948 war of Independence, Morocco had a large Jewish population, many of whose ancestors migrated to North Africa from Spain and Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition.