Israel gives green light for visits to Saudi Arabia under limited circumstances

Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri during a press conference in Jerusalem on April 2, 2018. (File photo: AFP)

Israel on Sunday officially gave its citizens the right to travel to Saudi Arabia for religious and business visits.

Israel had never granted official approval for such travel by both Jewish and Muslim Israelis.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri “signed for the first time an order enabling an exit permit for Israelis to Saudi Arabia,” his office said.

The move, coordinated with the security and diplomatic services, approves travel to the Gulf state “for religious purposes during the Hajj and the Umra (Muslim pilgrimages),” it said in a statement.

It said Israel would also allow its citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia “to participate in business meetings or seek investments” for trips not exceeding 90 days.

Business travelers must have “arranged their entry to Saudi Arabia and received an invitation from a governmental source,” the interior ministry said.

There was no indication of a corresponding policy change from the Saudi side.

Earlier Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mohammed al-Issa, head of the Muslim World League based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for attending commemorations in Poland this week marking 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. (With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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