Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi arrived in Riyadh yesterday at the head of a delegation from the occupation state to attend the Universal Postal Union, which runs from Sunday to Thursday. The trip marks the second official visit by an Israeli minister to Saudi Arabia.
Tourism Minister Haim Katz made history by becoming the first Israeli minister to undertake an official visit to Saudi Arabia less than a week ago to attend an event organised by the UN World Tourism Organisation.
Accompanying Karhi on this significant journey is Knesset Economy Committee chairman David Bitan. According to the Times of Israel, the delegation led by Karhi and Bitan comprises a total of 14 Israeli officials representing various departments, such as the communications ministry, the postal service and the foreign ministry.
During the conference, Karhi is scheduled to deliver a speech and meet with officials including Michael Ratney, the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkiye’s communications minister.
This leaves no room for doubt that normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel already exists
The visit comes after the head of the Boycott and Anti-Normalisation Campaign, Bassem Na’eem, stated that Karhi’s visit to Saudi Arabia shows that normalisation between Tel Aviv and Riyadh already exists. He added the Israeli delegation’s participation in a UN event in the Kingdom leaves “no room for doubt that official normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel is already in effect.”
Na’eem condemned the secretive attempts to push normalisation through and the efforts to convince Arab and Muslim communities to “accept this shameful relationship with a racist and fascist entity.” He added that normalisation is a grave sin that history will not forgive and it will not bring security, stability or prosperity to anyone.
Recent months have seen US efforts to strike a deal to normalise relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The two countries do not have diplomatic relations with each other, and Riyadh insists that any deal to normalise ties with Tel Aviv must include efforts to establish an independent state of Palestine and allow the Kingdom to have a peaceful nuclear programme, concessions that Israel has, so far, flatly rebuffed.
Six Arab countries have diplomatic ties with Israel. Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979; Jordan did so in 1994; the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in September 2020, and were joined by Sudan and Morocco later in the same year.