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Israeli delegation visiting Saudi Arabia to observe UNESCO meeting

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

A view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
A view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

A Foreign Ministry delegation of nine staffers is currently in Saudi Arabia as observers to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

Israel had tried to get visas for Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Education Minister Yoav Kisch to attend, Channel 13 reported, but backed off under US pressure when the Saudis were hesitant to welcome them.

Israel officially left the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2019, over alleged anti-Israel bias. Sites in the country remain listed on the World Heritage List, however, and Israel still sends representatives to the World Heritage Committee, which is in charge of designating those sites.

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