Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed envoy to the Palestinian Authority presented his credentials to President Mahmoud Abbas during his first visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Tuesday.
The visit by nonresident Saudi ambassador Nayef al-Sudairi marks the first time that a Saudi delegation has visited the West Bank since 1967. I Photo: يف بن بندر السديري X
This move is linked to recent US efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, as reported by Julia Frankel and Isabel Debre for the Associated Press (AP).
The visit by nonresident Saudi ambassador Nayef al-Sudairi, marking the first time that a Saudi delegation has visited the West Bank since 1967, coincided with Israel's Tourism Minister becoming the first senior Israeli official to make a public visit to Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, Tourism Minister Haim Katz led an Israeli delegation to Riyadh to participate in a conference hosted by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Katz's office described his visit as unprecedented for an Israeli minister and stated that he would hold discussions with officials from across the Middle East.
Meanwhile, al-Sudairi's visit to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, is widely seen as an attempt by the kingdom to address the key sticking point in the Saudi-Israeli normalization deal: Saudi Arabia's stance toward the Palestinians.
The Saudi government has declared that it will only normalize ties with Israel if there is significant progress toward the creation of a Palestinian state.
To commence his two-day trip, al-Sudairi, who also serves as the Saudi ambassador to Jordan, met with Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank, as well as other senior officials.