On Monday, March 13, 2023, the Moroccan Royal Court expressed its rejection of the position of the moderate Islamic Justice and Development Party against the Kingdom’s normalization of relations with Israel, and considered the party’s interference in Morocco’s foreign policy unacceptable.
In a strongly worded statement, the Royal Court criticized a statement issued by the General Secretariat of the Justice and Development Party, which it had issued earlier this month after its meeting, in which it “denounced the recent positions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which it appears that he is defending the Zionist entity in some African and European meetings, while it continues the occupation.” The Israeli criminal aggression against our Palestinian brothers.
The Royal Court said that the Justice and Development Party’s statement included some “irresponsible abuses and serious fallacies regarding relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel, and linking them to the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
He added, “Morocco’s position on the Palestinian issue is irreversible, and it is one of the foreign policy priorities of His Majesty the King… who placed it in the rank of the issue of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, and it is a firm principled position for Morocco that is not subject to political bidding or narrow electoral campaigns.”
The statement also stated that “the foreign policy of the Kingdom is the prerogative of His Majesty the King, by virtue of the constitution, and he manages it based on the national coherence and the supreme interests of the country, foremost of which is the issue of territorial integrity.”
Morocco had normalized its relations with Israel with the mediation of America on December 10, 2020, in exchange for the United States of America recognizing the dependence of the Kingdom’s Western Sahara region, which is the disputed territory between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which is supported by Algeria.
The Royal Court indicated that the resumption of relations between Morocco and Israel ” took place in known circumstances and in a context known to all, and is framed by the communiqué issued by the Royal Court … which was published on the same day following the phone call between His Majesty the King and the Palestinian President, as well as the tripartite declaration dated December 22, 2020, which It was signed in front of His Majesty the King,” an agreement that constituted a road map for Morocco, Israel and the United States for what relations would be like in the next stage.
The Secretary-General of the Justice and Development Party, Abd al-Ilah bin Kiran, called on “all party members and officials not to comment in any way on the communiqué issued by the Royal Court… and not to make any statement about it until the meeting of the party’s general secretariat to discuss the matter.”
The Justice and Development Party in the current government belongs to the “quiet” opposition, as described by its Secretary-General Benkirane, who was prime minister between 2011 and 2017. On more than one occasion, the party expressed its rejection of the policy of normalization, but Prime Minister Saad al-Din al-Othmani, a leader in the party, also signed the tripartite agreement between Morocco, Israel and the United States, as he was head of government at that time.