The northwestern African country of Morocco has agreed to normalize its ties with the Jewish State, making them the fourth Arab nation to do so; US to recognize Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara as well.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced the pending normalization of diplomatic ties between Israel and Morocco, making Morocco the fourth Arab nation to normalize its ties with Israel in recent months. In return, the United States will reportedly be recognizing Morocco as sovereign over Western Sahara – a territory located on the northwestern coast of Africa that has been long-disputed between Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday stating, “Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara.” This was in reference to Morocco being the first nation to formerly recognize the US as a sovereign country in 1777.

Prior to the official announcement he said, “Today, I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!”

He also proclaimed, “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced that both countries will move quickly to reopen diplomatic offices soon, which were closed 18 years ago. Furthermore, they hope to install direct flights as soon as possible. And like other Arab nations and Israel, Morocco views Iran as a threat in the region.

As a result of the Spanish Inquisition that took place in 1478, many Jews fled Portugal and Spain for the region of what is now Morocco. And at one point, Morocco was home to the largest Jewish population in the Muslim world. After Israel declared its independence in 1948, most of the Jewish population made its way to the Jewish homeland.

Other countries to normalize their ties with Israel in recent months include Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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