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Israel makes historic direct commercial flight to Morocco

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks during a press conference with US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner in Jerusalem on December 21, 2020   -  
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RONEN ZVULUN/AFP -

Morocco

The first scheduled flight direct commercial between Israel and Morocco took off from Tel Aviv on Tuesday and landed in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, less than a fortnight after the two countries agreed to normalise relations.

Passengers on the El Al plane included White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, who played a key role in brokering the historic peace agreement and Israeli envoys and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

Speaking at Ben Gurion airport before departure, Friedman said the deal with Morocco was the fourth agreement between Israel and an Arab country in as many months.

"Each peace agreement stands on its own. Each one is to be celebrated and together they are to be recognized as a sea change in the Middle East," he said.

They will meet with Morocco's King Mohammed VI, who has said Morocco would remain an advocate for Palestinians.

Israel and Morocco are expected to reopen diplomatic offices.

Morocco became the fourth Arab League nation to normalise ties with Israel after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

In exchange for the deal, the United States agreed to recognise Morocco's 1975 annexation of Western Sahara.

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