David Govrin, new Israeli ambassador to Morocco

The Israelis have upgraded their representation with the former head of the Israeli Liaison Office in Rabat


The rapprochement between Morocco and Israel continues to make expected progress since they normalised relations months ago. David Govrin has become the new Israeli ambassador to Rabat after his time as director of the Israeli Liaison Office in the Moroccan capital. This development follows a promise made by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on his last trip to Morocco in August this year to increase the level of representation in the Kingdom. The official announcement was made by Govrin himself, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to comment on the matter.

Israel continues to work to expand its sphere of influence among Arab countries. In this case, the normalisation of talks between the two took place almost a year ago, on 22 December 2020. It coincided with one of former US President Donald Trump's latest moves to recognise Morocco's authority over Western Sahara. The next step was Lapid's visit in which he announced that "relations will be upgraded", as now reflected in the appointment of David Govrin to head the Israeli embassy in Rabat.

"I am honoured to share with my followers and friends around the world the news of my appointment as official ambassador of the State of Israel to Morocco," Govrin announced on his Twitter account. He also thanked the Alawi kingdom for its efforts "to establish peace and security" and said that his country would continue to work "to develop joint relations for the benefit of the two brotherly countries". This step forward represents an important step in Israel's efforts to continue strengthening ties and gaining support at a time of complexity following the escalation of the conflict with Palestine in May of this year.

Morocco's intention to enter the suicide drone manufacturing industry has led it to cooperate with Israel, one of the steps prior to the establishment of the embassy which, for the moment, has not been officially announced by Rabat. According to analyst Mohamed Shkeir, speaking to Defense News, the agreement could become effective in the coming days, when the Israeli defence minister is expected to arrive in the Moroccan capital. However, the details of the final deal are unknown, although sources suggest that drones are not the only thing included in the deal.

Some short- and medium-range missile systems, as well as tanks and armoured vehicles, are also expected to be part of the deal. Morocco's initiative could be spurred by the recent increase in tension between the Kingdom and Algeria following the severing of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the end of August. Ongoing disagreements between the two countries, most notably over Western Sahara, have led to the breakdown of key relations in North Africa. While Morocco seeks to expand its territory in the Sahara, Algeria advocates a referendum on Sahrawi independence, which ended up dynamiting their ties.

The establishment of Israel's embassy in Morocco is a very important step for the interests of the Jewish state. However, it should not be forgotten that Rabat also needs new allies, especially at a time as complicated as the one the country is going through, when barely a month ago a change of government was decided at the polls after ten years with the Islamists at the helm. The strengthening of its ties with the Israelis could mark a turning point for the new government, which, although now without Islamists, has maintained the bulk of its previous government without drastically breaking with everything built up over a decade by the Justice and Development Party.