The hour-long conversation covered bilateral relations, the Abrahamic Accords, and the means to overcome COVID-10.
Rabat – The US president Joe Biden had his first official phone call with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on February 17, discussing regional issues and the Abrahamic Accords.
According to the White House, the US President reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s security and expressed his determination to strengthen the US-Israel partnership.
During the phone call, President Biden reiterated his support for the recent “normalization of relations” between Israel and Arab countries.
Speaking to White House reporters, Biden indicated that he had a “good conversation” with Netanyahu. It was President Biden’s first official call with the Israeli Prime Minister since the new US president took office on January 20.
According to a statement from the Israeli government, Biden and Netanyahu also discussed COVID-19. Biden commended the Israeli PM on his “leadership in the fight against the coronavirus,” while exchanging ideas on how to overcome the pandemic, said the statement.
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The phone call, especially Biden’s vow to uphold the Trump-brokered “normalization” deals, comes as a relief for many in Morocco and the broader MENA region.
Former US President Donald Trump recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara on December 10, 2020. Ever since, observers have been speculating whether the election of Joe Biden would change the US’ support for Morocco’s Western Sahara stance.
Critics of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara have loudly and passionately expressed their hopes to see Biden reverse the Trump administration’s Western Sahara proclamation.
On the same day Biden and Netanyahu had their first phone call, US Senator James Inhofe published a letter, co-signed by 26 other senators, attempting to draw the Biden administration’s attention to Western Sahara.
The letter called the US’ recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara “misguided” and described Morocco’s claims as “illegitimate.”
Preliminary research by Morocco World News has revealed that within a six-month period in 2020, both main authors of the letter had extensive contact with an Algeria-funded lobbying firm Foley Hoag.
As arguably the most outspoken pro-Polisario voice in power corridors in the US, Senator Inhofe appears to be putting his hopes on a reversal decision the Biden administration has repeatedly rejected.
With Morocco’s stance on it’s southern provinces enjoying growing international support, many analysts expect Algeria’s pro-Polisario American lobbyists to continue their quest for an improbable development in US-Morocco relations.
While Biden might not have gone as far as Trump in the US-Morocco-Israel negotiations, he certainly will not reverse the resulting agreement, say most observers and diplomats.