Officials’ Visits Highlight Warming Saudi-‘Israeli’ Ties
Story Code : 1084577
In the first-ever public visit by a Zionist minister to the Arab kingdom, Haim Katz, the ‘Israeli’ ‘tourism minister’, attended a multilateral tourism conference in Riyadh on Tuesday and Wednesday that was organized by the United Nations.
Simultaneously, the Saudi ambassador to Palestines, Naif al-Sudairi, traveled through an ‘Israeli’ border checkpoint to visit the West Bank, where he met with the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, the organization that administers just under 40 percent of the ‘Israeli’-occupied territory.
Experts said the visit by Sudairi, who is based in neighboring Jordan, was the first known visit by a Saudi official to the region since the Zionist regime captured it from Jordan in the 1967 war.
Inconceivable for most of the ‘Israeli’ entity’s history, the two visits symbolized how the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia are gradually setting the stage for the formalization of their relationship, amid escalating efforts by the United States to broker a deal between the two sides.
“You are seeing things that could not even be imagined several years ago,” Benjamin Netanyahu, the ‘Israeli’ prime minister, said in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia has never recognized the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity since it was founded in 1948, preferring — like most Arab countries — to ostracize ‘Israel’ until it agrees to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.
Now, Saudi leaders have signaled that they are considering recognizing the Zionist entity.
Talk of normalization is “for the first time, real,” Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, said in an interview last week with Fox News.
“Every day we get closer,” the prince added.
In exchange for normalization, Riyadh wants the United States and ‘Israel’ to support the creation of a civil nuclear program on Saudi soil, and seeks greater military support from Washington.
The Saudis also want ‘Israel’ to grant concessions to the Palestinians, though diplomats say it is not yet clear what exactly Riyadh will ask for.