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06RABAT314 2006-02-23 17:11:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rabat
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1. (C) During a February 22 meeting with DCM, MFA Director
General for Multilateral Affairs and Director for Arab and
Islamic Affairs Mohamed Azeroual discussed the February 17
visit of Israeli labor party leader Amir Peretz to Morocco.
Azeroual noted that Peretz -- whom he called a "Moroccan" as
Peretz was born and lived in Morocco for the first four years
of his life -- had met with King Mohammed, in the presence of
Royal Advisor Andre Azoulay and MFA Minister Delegate Taieb
Fassi Fihri. Peretz then spent the night in Casablanca where
he was hosted by the Jewish community. According to
Azeroual, Peretz's visit was a purely "political trip," as he
and his party are currently out of power and in need of
Moroccan-Israeli votes. Azeroual emphasized that the visit
had not occurred at the behest of the Moroccans, but rather
was a result of internal Israeli political machinations.

2. (SBU) According to the official Maghreb Arab Press,
Peretz said the meeting with the King was "important and
historic," and an opportunity "to share viewpoints on issues
relating to the peace process within the region's current
context." He added that he was "happy to be in my country
that I esteem, respect and like."
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