Israel officially allows Israelis to travel to Saudi Arabia

Israel officially allows Israelis to travel to Saudi Arabia
Israel officially allows Israelis to travel to Saudi Arabia

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Israel will now allow Israelis to travel to Saudi Arabia for religious or business visits, Israel's interior ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The decision, which will allow travel to the kingdom for up to 90 days, was made in coordination with Israeli security officials and other "relevant" bodies, including the foreign ministry, the statement said.

It is conditioned on the traveller having an invitation from a Saudi official and is subject to no other warrants that may prevent them from entering the kingdom.

The decision has "been brewing for many weeks", insider sources told Israeli daily Haaretz.

In the past, such visits required special permission from the government, the ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia.

The announcement is the latest sign of quiet but warming relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

It also came days before the White House is to announce its Mideast peace plan - which is expected to seek Saudi support.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have formal diplomatic relations. But the two sides have found common ground in their shared animosity toward Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu frequently boasts of back channel relations with Arab countries.

Israel has formal peace treaties with just two Arab countries - Egypt and Jordan.

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