The delegation initially invited also didn’t travel to the kingdom because they didn’t get a response from the Saudis in time on their visa requests, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.
Israeli officials did not push Riyadh to issue visa, noting that Saudi Arabia is hosting several UN conferences later this year.
This development comes while Riyadh openly stated that it is not seeking to normalize ties with Israel. Yet, Axios believes that the Israelis are still sending messages to Saudi Arabia, pushing for an agreement similar to the Abraham Accords.
Similarly, the UAE has reportedly said that it would not buy Israeli defense systems.
The decision seems to be a protest to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most recent policies.
Netanyahu’s office, however, rejected the report, saying that the news is “without basis.”
Like it or not, Iran-Saudi Arabia rapprochement is a resounding failure to the Israeli government’s foreign policy.
Facing with various domestic crises, Netanyahu is dealing with a major blow to its foreign policy, as the Middle Eastern countries have welcomed Tehran and Riyadh resuming diplomatic ties, and with the reopening of the embassies in two months, Iran will seriously pursue to normalize its ties with Jordan and Egypt. Talks are currently ongoing between Tehran, Amman and Cairo through intermediaries, and the likelihood of reaching an agreement has increased, especially after what happened in Beijing on March 10.
Iran-Saudi Arabia deal may not directly relate to Riyadh’s decision to block visa issuance for Cohen and his delegation, but it will be considered an important step in the process of building the lost trust of Tehran.