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The Financial Express

Saudi foreign minister says Israeli passport holders cannot visit kingdom

Published: January 28, 2020 10:43:11 | Updated: January 28, 2020 14:04:09


Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Faisal attends a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece on January 24, 2020 — Reuters photo Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Faisal attends a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece on January 24, 2020 — Reuters photo

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Israelis were not welcome to visit the kingdom after Israel decreed that Israeli citizens could visit Saudi Arabia under certain circumstances, according to a CNN report run by Reuters on Monday.

“Our policy is fixed. We do not have relations with the state of Israel and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the kingdom at the current time,” the US broadcaster quoted Prince Faisal bin Farhan as saying.

A statement from Israel’s interior minister on Sunday said Israelis - if invited and permitted by Saudi authorities - would be allowed to travel there for religious reasons on pilgrimage or for up to nine days for business reasons such as investment or meetings.

Israelis, mostly Muslims going on pilgrimage, have for years been visiting the kingdom, which hosts the two holiest sites in Islam, but usually with special permission or using foreign passports.

“When a peace agreement is reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis, I believe the issue of Israel’s involvement in the region will be on the table,” Prince Faisal said.

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