‘We Can Make History Together,’ Israeli Economy Minister Tells Saudi Counterpart At UAE Event

Israel’s Economy Minister Nir Barkat met Saudi Arabia’s Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, during a World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Israel is interested in peace with countries that seek peace, and we can make history together,” Barkat told his counterpart, as quoted by Ynet.

The Saudi minister and Barkat “exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch,” according to a press release from the Israeli Economy Ministry, adding that the ministers discussed tightening economic cooperation between the two countries.

Barkat reportedly met with the Emirati Minister of Economy, and was scheduled to meet with at least 20 counterparts from all over the world, at the conference hosted by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

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This marked the first public meeting between an Israeli minister and a counterpart from an Arab counter since the start of the war in Gaza, which erupted after the Hamas-led attack on October 7.

Saudi Arabia and Israel were moving toward normalizing relations as part of a wider effort to reach a defense pact with the United States, as well as a “regional integration,” but the talks were derailed by the war. However, willingness for a deal was reportedly still on the table.

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