Israeli communications minister is on a landmark official visit to Riyadh amid normalisation speculations, following pressure from the US State Department.
Israeli Minister Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi landed in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh Monday to participate in a meeting of a UN agency’s Universal Postal Union, as there have been speculations that the two countries are on the path to establishing diplomatic ties.
The US has been pressuring Arab nations to normalise relationships with the ‘apartheid state Israel’. In order to develop the legitimacy of its occupation of Palestine.
Israel is the most powerfully armed state in the Middle East and the only nation in the region that regularly carries cross-border attacks into Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. Often killing civilians under the guise of ‘targeting terror groups’.
Alongside, this it has been technologically powered to be the center of technology and security in the region, with companies like Google, Microsoft, and other tech partners, empowering Israeli companies with tech to distribute throughout the region. In effect forcing the Arab nations to work with Israel.
Why is Saudi Arabia important to Israel?
This would be the most symbolic normalisation talks for Israel, which would take its occupation to a legitimate level. Saudi Arabia is a leader in the region and the host of two of the most significant holy sites for Muslims. Its influence in the Islamic world is unparalleled.
This puts Saudi Arabia in a tough position, on the one hand, the country is driving forward to revolutionise the Kingdom, and on the other hand the cultural and local alliances with the Muslim States and its relationship with Israel.
His trip to the oil-rich kingdom comes nearly a week after Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz participated in a UN meeting in Riyadh — the first official from the country to visit Saudi Arabia as both countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.
A statement from the minister’s office read: “Karhi is likely to deliver a speech during his trip, and meet with officials including the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Turkish minister.”
“He is heading a 14-member delegation that includes lawmaker David Bitan and representatives of the foreign ministry,” the statement said.
How close are Saudi Arabia and Israel to normalising relations?
This first level of meetings are designed to test the waters for an official state visit by the PM of Israel, in a roadmap of normalisation talks with Israel.
The Palestinians have warned that they must be taken into account in any deal, and it is unclear what concessions Israel might be willing to make, if any.