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Israel offers ‘rare’ greetings on KSA national day

September 24, 2023

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS: Israel offered its congratulations to Saudi Arabia on the kingdom’s national day Saturday as the two countries move closer towards a possible normalisation of ties.

“We offer our sincere congratulations and blessings to the king, government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the 93rd national day,” the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement. “May God bring you good and blessings... with our wishes that an atmosphere of peace, cooperation and good neighbourliness will prevail,” it added in the statement on its Arabic-language account on X, formerly Twitter.

A foreign ministry spokesman did not immediately respond when asked by AFP whether it was the first time Israel had offered its congratulations on Saudi national day. In an address to the UN General Assembly On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We are at the cusp of... an historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia”. Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, had similarly told Fox News that the two countries were getting “closer” to normalising ties.

Several Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, normalised their relations with Israel in 2020 under the so-called Abraham Accords but Saudi Arabia has so far held out.