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Knesset speaker heads to Morocco, marks first official visit by Israeli head of parliament to a Muslim country

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana during Jewish Moroccan Mimouna celebrations, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 12, 2023. (Photo: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Israeli Knesset Member Amir Ohana is embarking upon a historic trip to Morocco on Wednesday, becoming the first Knesset speaker to visit the Moroccan parliament - or any Muslim country – in the latest sign of close bilateral Israeli-Moroccan diplomatic ties.

While the two countries have long enjoyed close covert ties, Morocco and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 2020, as part of the U.S.-brokered historic Abraham Accords. 

The head of the Moroccan parliament, Rachid Talbi Alami, will greet Ohana, who is also scheduled to meet with Moroccan lawmakers and the head of the Israel-Morocco parliamentary friendship group. Alami and Ohana are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further boost the already-established bilateral relations. The Knesset speaker will also meet with representatives of Morocco’s small Jewish community. 

Ohana thanked the Moroccan king for making the historic trip a reality. 

“The visit was made possible thanks to the groundbreaking leadership of the King of Morocco, Muhammad the Sixth,” said Ohana, who is of Moroccan-Jewish descent.

“The dream of peace with Muslim countries has always beat in our hearts, and how appropriate that of all of these countries, the Kingdom of Morocco is the first to invite the head of the State of Israel’s legislature – who also happens to be of Moroccan descent – for an official visit to its parliament.” 

“History is being made before our eyes with the announcement of the strengthening of ties between the two countries, closeness between the two peoples and a widening of the circle of peace,” Ohana concluded. 

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis of Moroccan descent form a natural bridge between the Jewish state and Morocco. 

Scientific and commercial ties are also growing between the two countries. In late May, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Moroccan International University of Rabat formally agreed to establish a research center for artificial intelligence and aeronautics in Morocco. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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