Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Morocco PM Rejects ‘Betrayal’ Accusations after Signing Normalization Deal with Israel

Morocco PM Rejects ‘Betrayal’ Accusations after Signing Normalization Deal with Israel

Sunday, 24 January, 2021 - 10:45
Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani. (PJD Press Office)

Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani has denounced statements accusing him of “betraying” the Palestinian cause, after he signed a normalization deal with Israel on Dec. 22.

He justified this step by affirming that his Justice and Development Party (PJD) cannot contradict with the state’s choices and the King’s directives.

In a speech before a PJD National Council meeting, the PM said his party acted in support of King Mohammed VI’s national effort “to defend the sovereignty of the homeland and consecrate the Moroccan Sahara.”

Bolstering Morocco’s sovereignty and enhancing its national unity are among the party’s program and targets, he noted.

Othmani said that he accepts the criticism, however, he rejects any questioning of the party’s position and that of Morocco, regarding the Palestinian cause.

He asserted that there are no compromises when it comes to the Palestinian cause, as well as the Sahara issue, stressing that he still rejects the violations committed by Israel against Palestinians and its settlements activities.

The PM renewed support to the Palestinians’ right to return to their country and establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He cited a royal statement on Dec. 10, which stressed that recent “measures do not in any manner affect Morocco’s ongoing and sustained commitment to the just Palestinian cause.”

Othmani expressed surprise by those who attacked his party and accused it of changing its position.

“We reject the attacks and any questioning of the party’s position and Morocco’s position regarding the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he stressed, in reference to remarks by the Palestinian Hamas movement.

“What is required is clarity and steadfastness in the positions, as well as strength to act on their basis,” he said, calling on everyone to be “just, objective and humble.”

According to Othmani, the PJD’s strategy is based on being loyal to the king, fulfilling the unified national principles, contributing to political and social reform and maintaining its political and organizational unity.

Editor Picks