Saudi foreign minister says Israel policy unchanged

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said Israel’s involvement in the region will be on the table when a peace deal is made with the Palestinians. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 28 January 2020

Saudi foreign minister says Israel policy unchanged

  • Foreign minister says Israeli passport holders are still unable to visit the the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia confirmed on Monday that Israeli passport holders were not permitted to enter the Kingdom.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the policy was unchanged despite Israel saying on Sunday that its citizens could now travel to Saudi Arabia.

“Our policy is fixed,” Prince Faisal told CNN. “We do not have relations with the state of Israel, and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the Kingdom at the current time.

“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.”

Analysts said the statements by both countries were significant as US President Donald Trump prepared to unveil his Middle East peace plan in Washington.

“Israel wanted to fool the Arabs, and to put Saudi Arabia in a difficult position, saying they had resolved the issue with the Kingdom and were ready for peace,” the Saudi political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“But the Kingdom is saying, ‘No, you cannot visit until there is a solution,’ and we will find out tomorrow if the Trump peace plan is that solution.”

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, calling for normal Arab relations with Israel in return for its withdrawal from occupied land, was the benchmark, Al-Shehri said.

“If they are going to override the Arab Peace Initiative without a workable alternative, then of course the Kingdom will not establish diplomatic relations.” 


Saudi Arabia records lowest daily COVID-19 death rate for two weeks

Updated 13 July 2020

Saudi Arabia records lowest daily COVID-19 death rate for two weeks

  • The Kingdom’s daily new case figure also continued to drop
  • There are currently 2,245 patients in critical care units

LONDON: Saudi Arabia on Monday reported its lowest daily death toll from COVID-19 in two weeks, with 20 people dying from the virus in the past 24 hours.

The Kingdom’s daily new case figure also continued to drop from highs a fortnight ago, with 2,852 new infections reported on Monday.

The total number of cases in Saudi Arabia reached 235,111 and the death toll across the country stands at 2,243.

The number of recoveries in Saudi Arabia rose to 169,842 after another 2,704 people recovered from the virus.

Among the new confirmed cases, Riyadh recorded the highest number, with 258 infections in one day. Jeddah reported 235 new infections, while Al-Hafouf detected 203 new infections.

On Sunday, the Saudi health ministry said the rate of critical COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom was stabilizing and had decreased over the past two weeks as the country continued to see a decline in new cases.

There are currently 2,245 patients in critical care units.