Acting FM Ben-Ami Meets with the King of Morocco Mohammed VI

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
September 5, 2000

Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami met yesterday with the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, in his summer palace in Agadir for a two-hour discussion concerning the advancement of the peace process.

The Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Minister decided together that Ben-Ami would travel to Morocco in order to learn first-hand of the King’s impressions of the Jerusalem Committee, which convened in Agadir last week, and to present him with Israel’s positions. Beforehand, Ben-Ami met with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Benaissa, for an hour-long meeting at which they discussed the peace process and the relations between the two countries.

Minister Ben-Ami emphasized to the King that the moment of truth has arrived for Arafat, and that decisions by statesmen are required – not the continuation of an endless process. Ben-Ami stated that "Political decisions must be taken, as opposed to turning the process into an inter-faith dispute."

The King and the Foreign Minister discussed possible solutions to the issues on the agenda, with an emphasis on the question of the Temple Mount. They also discussed the various American and Egyptian proposals which were raised recently. Ben-Ami told the King that Prime Minister Barak would not be bringing new ideas with him to New York, but rather expects answers from Arafat. The King expressed his hope that Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat would meet in New York to advance the process.

Ben-Ami praised the role of the King and his late father Hassan II in the peace process in recent years. "Your father is missing from this process, but I am certain that you will carry on his tradition and his approach," said Ben-Ami to King Mohammed VI. In the same spirit, Ben-Ami invited the King to visit Israel. King Mohammed VI asked to pass on his words of encouragement to Prime Minister Barak for his determination to advance peace.