Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has denied entry visas to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Education Minister Yoav Kisch to attend the UNESCO conference.
Israeli media reported that the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is scheduled to be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from September 10 to 25.
Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel made “great efforts” to send the two ministers, but Saudi Arabia “put obstacles” and did not grant them visas.
It also said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry had withdrawn from its efforts to obtain visas for the two ministers, following a United States (US) request.
Israeli professionals will participate in the Riyadh meeting, but not Israeli ministers.
The US and Israel have increasingly pushed for an agreement to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, but this has so far failed to materialize as Riyadh stuck to its official position that it will only establish official relations with Tel Aviv if a Palestinian state is established.