Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Israel plans to host Iraqi, Saudi journalists

Updated July 22, 2019

Email

Visit comes as Israel seeks to improve ties with Gulf Arab countries, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations. — AFP/File
Visit comes as Israel seeks to improve ties with Gulf Arab countries, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations. — AFP/File

JERUSALEM: Israel’s foreign ministry said on Sunday the country will this week host six journalists from Arab countries including, for the first time, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The visit comes as Israel seeks to improve ties with Gulf Arab countries, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

Those states have resisted offering Israel formal recognition due to its continuing occupation of Palestinian territory, but their relations have warmed of late, largely due to common concerns over Iran.

The journalists will visit Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, parliament and holy sites, among others, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said it had “the aim of exposing the journalists — some of whom come from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel — to Israeli positions on diplomatic and geopolitical issues”. Jordan is also participating, the ministry said.

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries, along with Egypt, that have diplomatic relations with Israel.

In another recent sign of a thaw, a group of Israeli journalists attended the US-led economic conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace in the Gulf state of Bahrain in late June.

The Palestinian leadership boycotted the conference, citing a series of moves against them by US President Donald Trump’s administration.

On Thursday, Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said that he had met his Bahraini counterpart publicly for the first time during a visit to Washington last week.

Katz also recently visited Abu Dhabi for a UN climate conference, where he met United Nations chief Antonio Guterres and an unnamed “high ranking UAE official”.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019