King says Morocco to push for Israeli-Palestinian talks
King says Morocco to push for Israeli-Palestinian talks
Morocco's King Mohammed VI arrives for a lunch at the Elysee Palace as part of the One Planet Summit in Paris, France, December 12, 2017. — Reuters/File

RABAT: Morocco will push for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, King Mohammed VI said on Monday, almost a year after his country renewed ties with the Jewish state.

“Morocco will continue its efforts, building on its position and its excellent relations with all sides and relevant international actors, to provide the appropriate conditions for a return to the negotiating table,” the monarch said in a televised address.

Morocco renewed official relations with Israel in December last year, two decades after it cut ties with the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada or uprising.

The rapprochement came amid a string of normalisation deals between Israel and Arab countries, brokered by the Trump administration.

In a speech, delivered on the UN-organised International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, King Mohammed stressed Morocco’s “total solidarity with the Palestinian people” and its right to an independent state alongside Israel.

He called for trust-building efforts and urged both sides “to refrain from actions that obstruct the peace process”.

The king, who heads the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Al Quds committee charged with protecting Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, warned against any attempt to change the city’s “juridicial, historic and demographic” status.

His speech came days after an unprecedented visit by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who signed a wide-ranging security pact with the kingdom.

Leftwing and Islamist organisations in Morocco have called for protests on Monday to voice their solidarity with the Palestinians.

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