Israel to allow citizens to visit Saudi Arabia


Israel’s government announced on Sunday that it would allow some Israeli citizens to fly to Saudi Arabia in a major policy shift.

Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri signed for the first time in Israel’s history a permit for an Israeli citizen to travel to Saudi Arabia, with which Israel has no official diplomatic ties, said a statement issued by the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said that it was cancelling its prior policy, which completely banned visits to Saudi Arabia. From now on, travels would be permitted for Muslim citizens of Israel to travel to the Saudi holy city of Mecca.

The interior ministry would also allow visits to Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days to attend business meetings or search for investment, if the Israeli traveler has an invitation from a Saudi official to enter the kingdom.

The move is the latest sign of warming ties between Israel and the Gulf state.

The Muslim population in Israel was some 1.53 million, according to officials figures by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Enditem


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