“Morocco does not comment on rumors” is the statement twice repeated by senior Moroccan officials.
When asked in a press conference about the rumors of a secret meeting between Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, El Khalfi said that “the Kingdom of Morocco does not respond to rumors.”
El Khalfi’s statement comes in response to a program aired by Israeli television channel 13, which reported that Bourita met with Netanyahu in September in New York on “the sidelines of a UN General Assembly.”
The channel also claimed that Israel “offered assistance for Morocco regarding Iran.”
Israel also refused to respond to the rumors when Netanyahu’s office said that they do not comment on “contacts with countries Israel has no formal relations with.”
The recent rumors come on the heel of allegations that Netanyahu was preparing to conduct an official visit to Morocco in the coming month.
The government declined to answer questions about it in a press conference, emphasizing that Morocco does not “comment on rumors.”
Following the speculation, dozens of activists went to Parliament to protest against the normalization of relations with Israel earlier this month in Rabat.
In a statement, the Moroccan Anti-Normalization Observatory said that the possible visit of Netanyahu would aim to discuss a US-proposed solution to the Sahara conflict.
The secretary general of the observatory, Aziz Hanawi, told Morocco World News in a previous statement that “those promoting a visit by Netanyahu to Morocco are trying to convince us that it is a matter of mediation on the Sahara issue.”
Israeli news outlets reported that Morocco was seeking rapprochement with Israel to gain US support in the Western Sahara conflict.