December 3, 2022

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Reports says Dozens of Israeli Tech Entrepreneurs and Business Visit Saudi Arabia

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A new report disclosed that dozens of businesspeople and tech figures from Israel recently visited Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the visit was to talk about Saudi investments in investment funds and companies in Israel. While Saudi Arabia and Israel do not maintain diplomatic relations, recent years have seen relations between the two countries warming up covertly. According to reports, Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, believes that Israel can play a strategic role in the conflict against Iran. Back in 2020, Washington had brokered the infamous Abraham Accords and both Israel and the United States had hoped that Saudi Arabia would sign them.

However, the Kingdom had done no such thing, but it was believed that it had given Bahrain the go-ahead to sign the normalization agreement, as it maintains a great deal of influence there. Some of the other countries that also signed the agreement included Sudan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, after the signing of the agreement, Israeli airlines were given permission to take flights to and from Bahrain and the UAE via the Saudi airspace. But, the flights from Israel to China, Thailand and India tend to be significantly longer because Israel does not have permission to use the Saudi airspace for these.

The report released on Thursday showed that the tech entrepreneurs and businesspeople who had traveled to Saudi Arab had used their Israeli passports for entering the kingdom and had been granted special visas. It further said that several agreements had been signed between Saudis and Israelis in the defense and civilian sectors in Europe and other countries. This also includes a deal in the agriculture tech sector, which is worth millions of dollars. Likewise, a deal has also been made for a water tech solution from Israel. Officials of the kingdom have kept a close eye on these deals.

It was further asserted in the report that the Saudis seem to be interested in health and medical tech solutions from Israel and its products, but did not elaborate. This recent report comes a few weeks after it was said that the private equity firm of Jared Kushner would be used for allocating millions of dollars for investment purposes by Saudi Arabia and these would be made in Israeli tech companies. Last year, Jared Kushner founded Affinity Partners and was able to raise about $3 million in funding.

The Saudis were also on the list of international investors of the equity firm founded by Donald Trump’s son-in-law. In early May, a report said that Riyadh had been considering investing in two Israeli companies, but there was no mention of their names or the sectors they were operating in. The report on Thursday said that tech figures and businesspeople from Israel have been using special visas to fly to Saudi Arabia for months, as they are invited by entities in the country. These people have visited the capital and city of Neom, where the kingdom is planning on incorporating smart city solutions.

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