In a major political victory for Morocco, Israel has recognized the North African state’s claim to the disputed territory of Western Sahara. It is the second largest country after the United States. Apart from the United States and Israel, Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara is not yet recognized internationally.
King Mohammed VI to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision was communicated by letter. This was announced by the Royal Court in Rabat.
The decision will now be taken into account in “all relevant acts and documents of the Israeli government”. The state agency quoted from the MAP letter. The Israeli government quickly confirmed the recognition.
It said Israel would now report the decision to the United Nations and other international bodies. Western Sahara, claimed by Morocco, was a Spanish colony until 1975.
After Spain left, Morocco annexed much of the territory. Since then, Rabat has controlled large swathes of the sparsely populated but resource-rich desert region. The Frente Polisario movement strives for an independent state in Western Sahara and is supported by Algeria. Clashes between the Polisario and the Moroccan army are repeated.
The move follows a diplomatic reconciliation between Morocco and Israel a few years ago. Both Morocco and Sudan followed Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in 2020, normalizing ties with Israel.
In December 2020, then-US President Donald Trump confirmed that the United States had recognized its sovereign rights over Western Sahara. This is part of the agreement with Morocco. Otherwise, Morocco’s claim has yet to be recognized internationally.
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