US PM Mike Pompeo arrived in Rabat on Thursday after an impromptu interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Lisbon.
The State Department announced late last November that it was the highest US official to visit Morocco since the election of Donald Trump.
He described this Maghreb country as a « key partner » in the United States’ diplomatic strategy in the region, which includes normalizing relations with Israel.
In Lisbon, MM. Pompeo and Netanyahu have « discussed efforts to counter the destabilizing influence of Iran in the region … and other subjects related to Israel’s security, » Pompeo wrote on Twitter after a meeting in last minute that led him to change his program in Morocco.
This meeting between MM. Netanyahu and Pompeo was the first since the United States changed its position two weeks ago on the legal status of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, contrary to UN resolutions. which has sparked a wave of reprobation around the world.
The American position is clear about these settlements: in terms of international legislation, they are not « illegal in themselves, » Pompeo repeated Thursday morning after an interview with the Portuguese Prime Minister in Lisbon.
Audience with Mohammed VI in view
At the end of November, the king of Morocco had denounced to him « practices contrary to the resolutions of the international legitimacy » and called to « put an end to the policy of colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territories » in a message addressed to the president of the ad-hoc committee of the United Nations and published by the official MAP agency.
He also reiterated his support for a two-state solution with East Jerusalem « as the capital » of the state to which Palestinians aspire.
The program of the US Secretary of State must include an audience with King Mohammed VI and an interview with the Foreign Ministry Nasser Bourita.
His visit comes as the United States must unveil its Middle East peace plan that has already led Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and advisor to President Donald Trump in Morocco and then Jordan last spring, in search of support from his country. Arab allies and favorable positions for rapprochement with the Jewish State.
$Announced for a long time, the White House peace plan was to be known after the Israeli elections in September, but these did not give a clear winner, and since no new calendar has been given.