Home and Health Minister Moshe Arbel visited Morocco over the weekend to visit his counterparts and agree to boost cooperation between the countries on various issues, including easing each other’s visa requirements and allowing Moroccans to work in Israel.
At a meeting on Friday with Rabat Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, the ministers agreed to form teams that will drive an agreement to bring foreign workers from Morocco to Israel to be employed as nurses and construction workers, reports reported Hebrew media.
They also discussed easing visa requirements, as the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism expects 200,000 Israelis to visit the country this year. According to the ministry, 70,000 Israeli travelers visited the country last year. Arbel said he intends to push ahead with the development of an electronic visa system and have it ready by the end of the year.
Arbel also invited Laftit to Israel.
In his capacity as health minister, Arbel signed an agreement with his Moroccan counterpart, Khalid Ait Taleb, to establish health cooperation between the two nations.
In the memorandum of understanding, ministers committed to working together in areas such as innovative medical technologies, genetics, combating non-communicable diseases, epidemic preparedness and strategic health systems planning.
“We are deepening our ties with Morocco and adding substance to the peace deal,” Arbel said in a statement released by his office on Saturday. “Israel and Morocco face common challenges on health issues, and cooperation in this area will significantly improve healthcare and the health of citizens.”
Arbel visited Morocco together with the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, and the Director of the Population and Immigration Agency, Eyal Siso.
Israel has deepened ties with Morocco on several fronts in recent months, including through a series of high-level visits to the country. Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana paid a visit last week, as did National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi.
During his visit, Ohana said Israel should take steps to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over disputed Western Sahara, adding that “serious discussions” are ongoing between the countries on the issue and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is aware of his decisions in the near future.” will give”. ”
Also last week, the Israel Defense Forces sent a troop delegation to take part in a major American-led military exercise in Morocco and surrounding African countries, a first for the Israeli army.
And earlier this month, during a visit to the North African country, Transport Minister Miri Regev signed three transport agreements to facilitate exchanges between Israel and Morocco.
Israel and Morocco have steadily increased ties since relations normalized in 2020. This is part of a series of agreements known as the Abraham Accords, backed by the administration of then US President Donald Trump.
In return, Rabat received an important concession from Washington: recognition of its sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Despite opposition from some sections of the Moroccan public, relations have continued to develop since then.