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‘We can make history together’ Israel Economy Minister tells Saudi counterpart in UAE

February 26, 2024 at 3:15 pm

Nir Barkat, Israel’s economy minister, during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, US, on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. [Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Israel’s Economy Minister, Nir Barkat, met with his Saudi counterpart, Majid Bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, during a World Trade Organisation (WTO) session today in Abu Dhabi.

Israel’s Channel 12 today revealed that both ministers discussed economic collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Israel. According to a statement from the Israeli Economy Ministry, Barkat told Qasabi, “The State of Israel is interested in peace with peace-seeking countries, and we can make history together.”

Moreover, the two ministers can be seen in an online video shaking hands and exchanging business cards. Barkat and Qasabi are attending the WTO ministerial conference, which aims to set new global commerce rules, reported Reuters.

Saudi Arabia announced, earlier this month, that it will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel until an independent Palestinian State is established. “There will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian State is recognised on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops,” said the Foreign Ministry in Riyadh.

The statement was issued after US National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, said that the US administration has received “positive feedback” that Saudi Arabia and Israel are willing to continue to have normalisation discussions.

Israel has been engaged in a genocidal offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October, killing almost 28,000 men, women and children, and wounding 67,000 others.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s civilian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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