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Israel withdraws support for Saudi bid to host Expo 2030 over Gaza war ‘criticism’

November 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Attendees wearing traditional dress arrive at the Grand Palais Ephemere for the Riyadh 2030 reception event to promote Riyadh’s candidacy for 2030 World Expo, in Paris on June 19, 2023 [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has withdrawn its support for Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030 after the Kingdom’s “criticism” of the occupation state’s war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Public broadcaster Kan quoted Israeli officials as saying that the decision was taken in coordination with the relevant authorities, and that there is now a tendency to support Italy’s bid to host the international exhibition. The decision has been taken as the Saudi-Israel normalisation process falters due to the Israeli ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip which has so far led to more than 15,000 Palestinians being killed.

In June, Riyadh invited Israeli officials to an official reception in Paris about the exhibition bid, but the Israeli delegate was not allowed to participate due to “technical considerations”. Saudi Arabia is competing with South Korea, Italy and Ukraine to host the global event.

The International Expo exhibitions have been held since 1851. They are regarded as the largest global platform for presenting the latest achievements and technologies, and promoting international cooperation in economic development, trade, arts and culture.

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