Saudi Arabia is allowing Israeli businesspeople to enter the country with their Israeli passports after receiving a special visa, sources close to the matter have told "Globes." For the most part it is representatives and managers of Israeli technology companies who are being invited to visit by the Saudis. This is a dramatic change and follows the cancellation in recent months of the blanket ban on Israeli passport holders, making it easy for special visas to be obtained.
Dozens of Israeli businesspeople have taken advantage of this option and visited Riyadh, the economic center of Saudi Arabia and other locations like Neom.
All this is preparing the ground for a major diplomatic meeting between Israel and Saudi Arabia with economic and defense components, an international source familiar with the matter has told "Globes." Among other things, agreements will be signed in aviation, and cooperation in research and technology in medicine, agriculture and energy.
The source explained, "The Saudis prefer that, publicly, reporting should focus mainly on economic affairs, because on other subjects there are still many obstacles, but the economic openness testifies to the coming steps that are not far away." These matters have been confirmed by other sources in Israel, the US and even a source in Saudi Arabia itself.
The source said that last week's article in "Globes" on economic relations was translated to Arabic and seen by senior figures in Saudi Arabia. The source said that those senior figures response was that, "The spirit of things was that the time had come that these things should not be concealed. Both countries have much to give each other, and the economic-commercial-technological direction is the right direction at the moment. The publication (in Globes) will also help ties and visits and that's good."
The source added that many Saudis were applying to come to Israel and promote business and see how technologies work, especially in agriculture and advanced technology areas.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 29, 2022.
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