‘We Can Make History Together’: Video Captures Historic Moment Between Israel And Saudi Arabia

OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

Israel’s Economic Minister Nir Barkat and Saudi Arabia’s Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi were caught on video Monday shaking hands.

The two ministers represent countries at a four-day World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi that do not formally recognize each other, The Times of Israel reported. The video showed Barkat putting out his hand to his Saudi counterpart and appearing to say something. Al-Qasabi could be seen reaching out to grasp Barkat’s extended hand in the video. (Arab Countries Hamstring America’s Ability To Strike Iranian Proxies: REPORT)

“Israel is interested in peace with countries that seek peace, and we can make history together,” Barkat told Al-Qasabi, according to a statement from the Economy Ministry, The Times of Israel reported. The two were seen apparently chatting amicably during the conference and exchanging business cards, the outlet noted.

The talk of making “history together” most likely refers to a normalization deal between the two countries. The two nations were in the midst of such a deal before the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Joe Biden back on Oct. 24 that a deal could be reached after the war had been concluded.

Economic Minister Barkat pointed out on Twitter in Hebrew that the conference was a historic occasion for Israel even without the handshake.

“I met in Abu Dhabi with the Minister of Trade of the United Arab Emirates Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zayudi. This is the first official visit of an Israeli minister to the United Arab Emirates since October 7 and I am happy to maintain the close relationship with an important country like the United Arab Emirates. On behalf of the State of Israel, I thank the United Arab Emirates for the warm hospitality and warm welcome,” Barkat wrote in part.

“The UAE [United Arab Emirates] is pleased to welcome leaders, ministers and senior officials to the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. Trade is a key driver of prosperity and helps to promote peace and understanding between nations. We look forward to working with our international partners in supporting a global trading system that brings benefits to all,” UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted.