Livni meets Moroccan counterpart in Paris

The foreign ministers of Israel and Morocco met Wednesday in Paris despite a chill in relations between the two countries dating back seven years, an official said. Tzipi Livni was also to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday. On the sidelines of her trip, she also talked with her Moroccan counterpart, Mohamed Benaissa, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the meeting. Full diplomatic ties between Morocco and Israel broke down after the September 2000 outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, although some contacts have continued. Former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom visited Morocco in 2003 and met with King Mohammed VI. Before relations soured, Morocco played an important behind-the-scenes role in the Middle East peace process. About 500,000 Israelis, roughly 10 percent of the Jewish population, are immigrants from Morocco or their descendants.