R. Clarke Cooper believes diplomacy between Morocco and Israel will promote peace, stability, and growth in the Middle East.
Rabat – R. Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Political Military Affairs at the US State Department, is confident that reestablished Morocco-Israel ties will improve stability in the Middle East.
In a Foreign Press Center briefing on Wednesday, the military official discussed global political-military developments, including the recent US decision to impose sanctions against Turkey.
Cooper then went over the latest developments in US President Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords.
“The Trump administration’s pursuit of the transformative Abraham Accords [has proved] uniquely successful,” Clarke said. “I am very happy to see these enforced to provide further peace, stability, and growth in the Middle East.”
Under the Abraham Accords, the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel from August to October. US officials expressed confidence that other Arab states would follow suit before the end of the year.
On December 10, Trump announced that Morocco and Israel agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations. Trump also issued a presidential proclamation recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara and announced plans to open a US consulate in the region.
In his briefing, Cooper welcomed the potential that Morocco-Israel ties have to change the Middle East. The two countries’ relations represent an achievement of the United States, Israel, and Morocco, he said.
As well, the Morocco-Israel agreement “continues to transform the region’s security architecture and again is yet just another state to recognize Israel’s sovereignty and Israel’s membership in the community of states.”
Continuing his discussion of the Abraham Accords, Cooper reviewed the recent US arms sale to the UAE as part of Emirati-Israeli normalization. Last month, the Department of State and the Department of Defense formally notified Congress of their intent to authorize the UAE’s proposed purchase of arms worth a total of $23.37 billion.
Cooper said the arms sale aims to strengthen the UAE’s capability to respond to increasing threats from Iran. Included in the sale are 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft and 18 MQ-9B drones.
Cooper did not mention the recent reports of a looming US sale of MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones to Morocco. Some observers have speculated the sale is linked to the announcement of reestablished Morocco-Israel ties.
However, Morocco purchases 91% of its arms from the US, so it is likely that the deal was in the works for months and not part of the Abraham Accords.