The Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Council have been working with officials from the Dar al-Makhzen Palace in order to arrange a visit of Moroccan King Mohammed VI to Israel once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, Yediot Aharonot reported.
The king however, is reportedly conditioning his visit to Israel on visiting Ramallah and meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well.
By arranging the visit of the king, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly trying to gain another victory in his campaign ahead of the general elections scheduled for March. By bringing over the King of Morocco, Netanyahu hopes to appeal to the large Jewish population in Israel that migrated from Morocco.
Efforts to arrange the king's visit were reported earlier this month, when Yediot reported that the Likud was planning on using the agreement with Morocco as a central aspect of the party's election campaign, noting that if successful, the event would have a strong effect on the Israeli public.
However, there is no guarantee that Netanyahu's plans will go as planned. Diplomatic sources have suggested that the king is aware of the attempt to use him as part of the Likud's election campaign and might refuse the offer.
"Negotiations are underway, there are attempts being made, but I have a hard time seeing it happen," an Israeli senior official told Yediot Aharonot. "I am aware that the Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Council want it to happen, but I'm not sure if it will be possible before the elections take place. But the king may surprise us all and come," he added.
On Sunday, the government officially approved the normalization agreement with Morocco in a unanimous vote, with Netanyahu praising King Mohammed VI and calling the agreement “a historic moment after four peace agreements with four Muslim and Arab states in four months.”
A few days prior, it was reported that Jerusalem and Rabat had signed an agreement to operate direct flights between the two countries.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.