Israel to support Saudi Arabia bid for Expo 2030 in return for normalisation deal – report – Middle East Monitor

Israel is reportedly set to support Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the Expo 2030, amid efforts to convince the Kingdom to agree to normalise relations with Tel Aviv.

During Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France, a reception was held in the capital, Paris, on Monday to launch Saudi Arabia’s bid for the international exhibition, which takes place every five years and is next scheduled to take place in Japan’s city of Osaka in 2025, with the host city for Expo 2030 to be announced in November.

According to Israel’s Kan broadcaster, the day before that reception, organised by the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, the Kingdom had invited an unnamed delegate representing Israel to the event.

READ: Israel normalisation with Saudi Arabia a ‘matter of time’

That gesture – which is yet to be officially confirmed – has raised speculation that Israel could support Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030 as a condition for Riyadh agreeing to normalise relations with Tel Aviv.

In recent months, the United States and Israel have accelerated efforts to convince Saudi Arabia to normalise ties with the occupation state, as various other Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco – have done over the past four years.

Riyadh has, so far, resisted those efforts, however, insisting on the condition that an independent Palestinian state must first be established in order for normalisation to proceed.

Despite numerous attempts to sway the Kingdom’s stance with various offers – as well as the Saudi government’s own reported set of conditions to the Israeli and US governments – it has apparently remained firm in its position, with Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, iterating earlier this month that normalisation has “limited benefits” without Palestinian statehood.

READ: US says it has ‘real national security interest’ in Saudi-Israel normalisation

Source link