Keep an eye on Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita – he is coming to Israel soon to open the Moroccan Embassy

RABAT, Morocco—One of the most interesting senior officials I have met here in the Moroccan capital is Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

We spent 90 minutes in his spacious and beautifully decorated office, sipping sweet mint tea, getting to know each other and discussing a wide range of geopolitical, economic and religious issues.

Although we have never met before, I must stay. I was greatly encouraged by Bourita’s genuine warmth towards Israel, the Jewish people and towards Christians.

He helped organize the visit of Pope Francis to Morocco in March 2019.

During this trip, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the Pope issued a joint statement affirming Jerusalem as a “city of peace” and “a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue can be cultivated”.

Moreover, it was Bourita who graciously invited me to come to Morocco as an evangelical religious leader and journalist.

Joel C. Rosenberg meets with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat, Morocco (Photo: ALL ARAB NEWS)

And it was his staff who meticulously organized every detail of my stay and looked after me and my team every step of the way.

In fact, one thing became clear to me during this trip: this Islamic nation is very interested in forging deeper ties with the wider Christian world, including evangelicals.

This is a very positive development and I look forward to exploring and cultivating more in the weeks and months to come.

When I can, I will definitely write more about it.

MOROCCO WILL SOON OPEN AN EMBASSY IN ISRAEL

For now, I must say that the most encouraging lesson of this visit is to learn that the Moroccan government is finalizing preparations to officially open its embassy in Israel very soon.

The move is expected to take place this summer.

To that end, Bourita is preparing the ground for his first-ever visit to Jerusalem to meet senior Israeli government officials, as well as to Tel Aviv where the embassy will be located.

This is a very welcome development, which will help cement the King Mohammed VI’s courageous decision to normalize relations with Israel end of 2020, despite intense opposition from the then Islamist Moroccan Prime Minister.

The ties between Morocco and Israel are long, deep and special.

One in 10 Israeli Jews traces their lineage back to Morocco.

Many Knesset members and other officials in high-level positions are also Moroccan Jews.

It remains to be seen how the sudden implosion of the Israeli government on Monday and the sudden move towards new elections – possibly as early as October – will affect Morocco’s plans.

But rest assured that ALL ARAB NEWS will keep you up to date as the situation develops.

BOURITA’S FIRST POSITIVE VISIT TO ISRAEL WAS IN MARCH

Bourita’s first visit to Israel took place on March 27-28 at the “Negev Summit” in Sde Boker.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid warmly welcomed him, as did the Foreign Ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Joel C. Rosenberg meets with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat, Morocco (Photo: ALL ARAB NEWS)

“We need to build momentum through concrete steps that people feel and that contribute to improving the life of the world and opening up promising prospects for the youth and peoples of our region,” Bourita said. Told journalists at the time.

“We are here in the Negev to be a force for peace and to say that a solution to the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict is possible.”

He strongly denounced a terrorist attack that occurred in the Israeli city of Hadera just at the start of the summit and said he was happy that he and other Arab diplomats could stand with Israel – in Israel – in unified opposition to such violent extremism.

“Our presence here today is the best response to these attacks,” insisted Bourita, adding that “we are here today because we truly believe in peace, not in peace in which we ignore each other, but to peace based on building a common community”. values, interests and a peace that keep us away from war.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THIS AWESOME AND TRUSTED DIPLOMAT

Born on May 27, 1969, Bourita has just turned 53.

A career diplomat, he rose through the ranks of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, occupying a wide variety of junior, middle and senior positions, including as Chief of Staff of the Ministry.

This gave him considerable experience within the bureaucracy and a strong network of contacts within the Moroccan government and in many other governments around the world.

Joel C. Rosenberg meets with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat, Morocco (Photo: ALL ARAB NEWS)

Along the way, he earned the trust of senior Moroccan officials, up to and including His Majesty the King.

Bourita was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on April 5, 2017.

He served under the former Moroccan prime minister – helping negotiate and finalize the peace and normalization agreement with Israel that was announced on December 10, 2020 – and continues to serve under the new prime minister, who arrived in Morocco. power last year.

This breadth and depth of experience – combined with the fact that he remained foreign minister despite the recent change of government – ​​testifies to Bourita’s high regard and trust, both at home and abroad.

As Morocco continues to forge diplomatic, economic, cultural and religious ties with Israel and the Jewish world, and with the Christian world, Bourita is a man I will watch closely.

I recommend that you do the same.