Saudis: Israel visit doesn’t reflect government stance

July 29, 2016 Agencies
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The Saudi government distanced itself on Wednesday from a recent visit to Israel by a delegation of Saudi citizens, which included a former military general.

The flag of Saudi Arabia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The flag of Saudi Arabia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

An unnamed Saudi Foreign Ministry official told the state-owned al-Hayat newspaper that the visit “does not reflect the views of the Saudi government,” the Associated Press reported.

Last week, a rare delegation of Saudis, headed by outspoken retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki, visited Israel. The delegation met with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials including Director-General Dore Gold at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The group also met with opposition Knesset members and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the COGAT, the military body that coordinates Israeli activities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Eshki reportedly lead the delegation of “businessmen and academics” to promote the stalled Saudi-led 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, AFP reported.

Eshki and Gold had previously met last year at a Council on Foreign Relations conference in the United States.