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Amir Ohana to visit Morocco, a first for Israel’s parliamentary speaker

May 27, 2023

The senior Likud lawmaker confirmed his visit after receiving an official invitation from the Moroccan Parliament

Israel’s Parliamentary (Knesset) Speaker Amir Ohana is scheduled to pay an official visit to Morocco in early June, according to Israel's Kan Public Broadcaster. This will be the first state visit to the Arab country by the Israeli politician, who is also of Moroccan origin.

"Ohana's visit, the first of its kind to Morocco in his capacity as Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, comes in response to an official invitation from the Moroccan Parliament," said the source to Kan, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ohana, a longtime lawmaker in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, previously served as justice minister and then public security minister. He was appointed Knesset Speaker in December after the latest round of elections, becoming the first openly gay lawmaker in Israeli history to serve in the role.

The Morocco-Israel Friendship Caucus was created in the Knesset but no official announcement was made about its creation or purpose. It is headed by Meir Cohen, of the Yesh Atid party, and Eliyahu Revivo, also of the Likud.

The latest high-level visit to Morocco was made by Israel's economy minister Nir Barkat, who spoke to i24NEWS during the visit about the Morocco's potential to serve as a gateway for business on the African continent, and touted the benefits of technology sharing.

Barkat gave examples of the technologies that were mutually beneficial to both people in the sectors of agriculture, seafood, energy and water, as he led a delegation of Israeli entrepreneurs to the North African country. 

Morocco, a signatory of the historic Abraham Accords, has signed a number of cooperation agreements with Israel, and besides government-to-government contracts is also fostering people-to-people exchanges.

In May, the northern Israeli city of Hadera is hosting a handicrafts exhibit under the name “Diyala,” which brings of ceramic, sculpture, printmaking, weaving, mosaic, and a variety of other arts that represent the diverse heritage of Moroccan Jewish culture, in coordination with the city of Fez in Morocco.

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