Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Israeli Cabinet Member Visits Saudi Arabia

Voice of America
27 Sep 2023, 04:06 GMT+10

Israel's tourism minister, Haim Katz, traveled to Saudi Arabia Tuesday, marking what's described by Israel as the first time an official diplomatic visit of an Israeli cabinet member to Saudi Arabia has taken place.

Katz will be attending a United Nations world tourism event in Riyadh.

As Katz visits the kingdom, Saudi Arabia is pursuing a U.S.-brokered deal that would see bilateral relations formed between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

While Israel's delegation led by Katz visits Saudi Arabia, Nayef al-Sudairi, Saudi Arabia's newly appointed first envoy to the Palestinian Authority made his first visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to present his credentials to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Katz's visit to Saudi Arabia shows progress being made in normalizing relationships between Israel and Saudi Arabia, though the kingdom's decision to diplomatically meet with the Palestinian Authority has made its stance clear that relationship will only normalize between the two nations if there is progress made toward a Palestinian state.

Saudi Arabia is among Arab nations that agreed to the Arab Peace Initiative nearly two decades ago that stated there would be no diplomatic recognition of Israel without a just settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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