Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York last September, an Israeli official told Channel 13 News’ Barak Ravid on Sunday.
According to the report, Netanyahu stressed in the meeting that Israel wants to normalize relations with Morocco. He also said that he is interested in visiting Morocco publicly — like the visit he made in November to Oman.
Netanyahu and Bourita also discussed efforts to counter Iranian actions in the region, the Israeli official told Ravid. Morocco has cut ties with Iran over alleged Iranian attempts to meddle in Moroccan internal affairs.
Israel has not had diplomatic relations with Morocco since start of the Second Intifada in 2000. The two countries had full diplomatic relations between 1995 and 2000 after the Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Netanyahu's office said in response to Ravid’s report, "We do not comment on contacts with countries Israel has no formal relations with."
Last month, unconfirmed reports in Moroccan media said talks were under way about a visit by Netanyahu to Morocco.
The reports said that the date for the visit will be about a week before election day on April 9. Neither country commented on the reports.
Reports of a possible visit by Netanyahu to Morocco came days after the Israeli prime minister visited Chad, where he and President Idriss Deby announced the renewal of ties between the countries.