Kushner to Lead American-Israeli Delegation to Morocco Next Week

The senior Trump aide will be joined by Israel's National Security Adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, who will lead the Israeli delegation ■ Trip is meant to further normalization agreement between two countries

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent
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Jared Kushner flies with a U.S.-Israeli delegation to the UAE in the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE at the Abu Dhabi airport, August 31, 2020.
Jared Kushner flies with a U.S.-Israeli delegation to the UAE in the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE at the Abu Dhabi airport, August 31, 2020. Credit: NIR ELIAS/AFP
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent

Jared Kushner will lead an American-Israeli delegation to Morocco next week in order to advance normalization talks between the two countries, senior Trump administration officials said on Tuesday.

Senior Trump aide Kushner, who is also the president's son-in-law, will be joined by Israel's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, who will lead the Israeli delegation. Both will depart on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Rabat on Tuesday.

How COVID – and Israel’s Trump-brokered lovefest with Arab states – are affecting PalestiniansCredit: Haaretz

Kushner, Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz and Adam Boehler, chief executive officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, will arrive in Israel on Monday and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the Israel-Morocco normalization deal last week. It was the fourth that the United States helped broker, following similar agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Israel and Morocco have had covert relations for decades, and the latter openly accepts tourists from Israel. Following the Oslo Accords, ties solidified publically, with then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres attended the opening of an Israeli representation office. After the second intifada erupted in 2000, ties became secretive again.

The United States has, in return, signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the contested Western Sahara.

The Trump administration also moved forward with $1 billion in sales of drones and precision-guided weapons to Morocco on Friday, sending a notice to Congress about the potential deals, according to sources familiar with the notification.

Products in the sales include four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones made by privately-held General Atomics, and Hellfire, Paveway and JDAM precision-guided munitions made by Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing, the sources said.

Kushner and his team are still holding talks with other countries from the Arab and Muslim world and hope to seal at least one more agreement before Trump leaves office on January 20.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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