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Israeli Minister Haim Katz Makes Historic First Public Visit to Saudi Arabia to Attend UN Tourism Event in Riyadh

September 27, 2023

Israel’s Tourism Minister Haim Katz arrived in Saudi Arabia on September 26 for the first such high-level public visit to the kingdom amid talks to secure bilateral ties.

“Katz is the first Israeli minister to head an official delegation in Saudi Arabia,” his ministry said in a statement, adding he would attend a United Nations World Tourism Organization event in Riyadh.

During the two-day visit he is due to hold meetings “with his counterparts”, Mr. Katz’s office said without specifying which countries will be represented in such talks.

The landmark visit comes as Riyadh sent its first delegation to the occupied West Bank in three decades.

Nayef al-Sudairi, who was appointed non-resident ambassador to the Palestinian territories last month, held talks Tuesday with senior Palestinian officials including president Mahmud Abbas.

The diplomatic travels come as the United States presses its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalise ties.

Such a move would break Riyadh’s decades-long stance against recognising Israel before it resolves the conflict with the Palestinians.

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