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Bruce Maddy-Weitzman est l’expert universitaire incontesté interrogé par les médias sur les nouvelles relations Israël-Maroc.

« Bien que les autorités marocaines minimisent tout lien, les échanges commerciaux dans l’agriculture, le domaine militaire et la technologie existent depuis des décennies, de même que les liens culturels et humains » entre Israël et le Maroc, explique à Middle East Eye, Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, expert en relations israélo-marocaines à l’université de Tel Aviv.

LE PLUS. Bruce MaddyWeitzman is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East, Associate Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History and Senior Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University.

LE PLUS. According to Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, an expert on Israeli-Moroccan relations, US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara was « a gift » to the North African kingdom.

« This is a gift from the departing American administration… a gift that is central to Moroccan national identity and Moroccan foreign policy, » Maddy-Weitzman told AFP.

‘It reinforces their [Morocco’s] image in the West as a liberal, tolerant, open, multicultural country that values its Jewish heritage’

– Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, Israel-Morocco relations expert

« I think the fact that there’s a new administration coming into Washington made it even more important for the Moroccans to nail this down when they could, » he added.

It had been « the number one issue » on Morocco’s foreign policy agenda since the mid-1970s, said Maddy-Weitzman, so the US move to recognise its sovereignty over the region was « something very much out of the ordinary ».

The US recognition was « a whole new ball game » that would also boost the kingdom’s international standing, he added.

« It reinforces their image in the West as a liberal, tolerant, open, multicultural country that values its Jewish heritage. »

Significant US investment

According to the New York Times, the Morocco-Israel normalisation deal came together with the help of a Moroccan investor, Yariv Elbaz, who does business with Israel and acted as a go-between for Washington and Rabat.

In talks dating back to 2017, White House officials had offered the lure of US recognition of Western Sahara as a condition of Morocco’s normalisation of ties with Israel. (middleeasteye.net)

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