Haim Katz becomes first Israeli minister to visit Saudi Arabia

The tourism ministers' visit comes as both countries work towards a normalisation deal


(JNS) Haim Katz has become the first Israeli cabinet minister to make a public visit to Saudi Arabia.

The Israeli tourism minister arrived in Riyadh to take part in a conference of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and to mark World Tourism Day, celebrated annually on September 27.

“Tourism is a bridge between nations. Partnership in tourism issues has the potential to bring hearts together and economic prosperity,” he said in a statement released by his office.

He added: “I will work to advance cooperation, promote tourism and the foreign relations of Israel.”

Katz’s visit comes on the background of growing relations between Israel and the kingdom as the two work towards a normalisation deal.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said last week that peace with the Jewish state was “getting closer every day.”

On September 20, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke openly on the side lines of the UN General Assembly debate in New York about a coming agreement.

Earlier this month, an official Israeli delegation arrived for the first time in Saudi Arabia for a meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

In July, a team of Israelis competed in Saudi Arabia in the annual FIFAe World Cup, which saw participants play the latest version of the popular soccer video game.

This month, a delegation of Israeli athletes competed in the 2023 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive