An Israeli politician has confirmed that a visa exemption agreement between Tel Aviv and Rabat is being discussed as ties between the two countries strengthen.
Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara has allowed ties with Israel and Morocco to grow.
Meir Masri, a prominent political figure in Israel’s Labour Party, told Moroccan media outlet Telquel,”The visa waiver project between Morocco and Israel is on the right track.” ,according to Qatar-funded news outlet The New Arab, August 14.
Since 2021, Mr. Masri has started lobbying for visa exemption between the two states, noting that, “It is shameful and unacceptable that a European or a Russian can enter Israel without a visa and ask for an entry visa from our Moroccan brothers.”
At the time, an official within the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied there was a discussion on visa exemption for Moroccans. However, two years later, Masri says things have changed following the recent agreements between Tel Aviv and Rabat.
Israel has opened a liaison office in Rabat, and the construction work of Tel Aviv’s embassy in the city is set to finish next year.
Last month, King Mohammed VI of Morocco invited Israel’s hard-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Rabat after Netanyahu recognised Rabat’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Many Moroccans have criticised the King for his normalisation of ties with Israel, as the middle eastern country continues to oppress the Palestinians.
Previously, internet users have been sent to jail for criticism of the Moroccan King regarding the Israel issue on various social media sites.
North Africans remain vocal in their support for Palestine as Israel continues to breach international law.
Meir’s visa exemption project talks are still in progress. It is not the responsibility of the Israeli Knesset to decide on this kind of regulation. It is up to the sovereignty of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The legislative only intervenes in an advisory capacity or to approve the agreement.
In July of last year, Morocco launched an e-visa application for Israelis. Since then, the country has issued over 150,000 electronic visas out of 160,000 processed applications.
Even before publicly normalising ties with Tel Aviv, Morocco had always allowed Israeli passport holders to enter the country, unlike other states in the Middle East and North African region due to the high number of Jewish of Moroccan origins living in Israel.
THE NEW ARAB