Morocco’s FM expects incoming US President Biden to follow in Trump’s footsteps in supporting Morocco’s Western Sahara position.
Rabat – Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita hopes the incoming Biden administration will uphold the recent Western Sahara agreement between Morocco and the US. Speaking to US news outlet Axios, Bourita stated he believes there is a “good rationale” for Biden to preserve the deal.
Bourita spoke to Barak Ravid, an Israel-oriented foreign policy specialist at Axios. It was Ravid who, amid wild speculations around the making of Trump’s Western Sahara move, revealed the inner workings of the surprise agreement between the US, Israel and Morocco.
“We hope the next administration will continue this positive dynamic and nourish what we have built because it was done for peace,” Bourita told Ravid.”What we have here is a package which was signed and the first commitment that everyone made was to defend, promote and upgrade this package.”
The promise to “promote and upgrade” the agreement could provide sufficient reasoning for Biden, who is a long-standing supporter of Israel. Biden has described himself to be a “zionist” and is unlikely to want to threaten any perceived wins for Israel. The promise to further expand the deal could provide Biden with a foreign policy win regarding Israel-Morocco relations.
“We need to be end-game oriented and not process-oriented,” Bourita told Axios. He then presented the Western Sahara issue as a matter of regional peace and stability, something Biden is unlikely to want to disturb.
Bourita has been eager to differentiate Morocco’s US-brokered agreement with Israel from those of the other Arab states that have earlier agreed to “normalize” f ties with Israel. “We told our American friends from the beginning, ‘don’t give the same T-shirt to everyone,” he said as he emphasized Morocco’s relations with Israel in the 1990s.
Morocco’s renewed relations with Israel is nothing new, but simply a continuation of Morocco’s earlier diplomatic endeavors, according to the Moroccan foreign minister. “We were pioneers of the relations with Israel,” Bourita stated. “We are not building from scratch.”
For Bourita, the agreement with the US and Israel is essentially “about renewing the traditional contacts and building something which is lasting.”
“Everything is normal now,” he stated, adding that “we do not plan to go only halfway here.”
Bourita is cleverly presenting the issue as both a case of regional stability and the foundation for stronger ties with Israel. The hope is that Biden is unlikely to scupper the Western Sahara agreement. As a typical US centrist, President Biden is likely to back US and Israeli interests and comply with the US military’s assessment of the situation.
Relations with Israel and increased stability in the Sahel are unlikely to be discarded because of protests from left-wing Democrats, or feisty op-ed articles and grand statements from Republican pro-Polisario hardliners such as John Bolton and Senator James Inhofe. Biden is anything but a radical reformer and is likely to find other executive actions of US President Donald Trump to overturn in order to appease his supporters.