|27 January, 2020

Saudi FM says Israel policy unchanged

We do not have relations with the state of Israel, and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the Kingdom at the current time: Foreign Minister

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Faisal attends a meeting with Greek Foreing Minister Nikos Dendias (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece January 24, 2020.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Faisal attends a meeting with Greek Foreing Minister Nikos Dendias (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece January 24, 2020.

REUTERS/Costas Baltas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia confirmed on Monday that Israeli passport holders were not permitted to enter the Kingdom.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the policy was unchanged despite Israel saying on Sunday that its citizens could now travel to Saudi Arabia.

“Our policy is fixed,” Prince Faisal told CNN. “We do not have relations with the state of Israel, and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the Kingdom at the current time.

“When a peace agreement is reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis, I believe the issue of Israel’s involvement in the region will be on the table.”

Analysts said the statements by both countries were significant as US President Donald Trump prepared to unveil his Middle East peace plan in Washington.

“Israel wanted to fool the Arabs, and to put Saudi Arabia in a difficult position, saying they had resolved the issue with the Kingdom and were ready for peace,” the Saudi political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“But the Kingdom is saying, ‘No, you cannot visit until there is a solution,’ and we will find out tomorrow if the Trump peace plan is that solution.”

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, calling for normal Arab relations with Israel in return for its withdrawal from occupied land, was the benchmark, Al-Shehri said.

“If they are going to override the Arab Peace Initiative without a workable alternative, then of course the Kingdom will not establish diplomatic relations.”

Copyright: Arab News © 2020 All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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