Israel hopes that Saudi Arabia will attend a US-sponsored Mideast conference this fall, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said Wednesday.
"We hope that many Arab countries will attend this international meeting, including Saudi Arabia," read a statement from the office issued after Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said his country would be willing to attend. Al-Faisal spoke after meeting US Secretary Condoleezza Rice and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Jeddah.
Officials from Olmert's office said Wednesday that they hoped the international gathering outlined by US President George W. Bush on July 16 would bring a diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have no official ties. The officials were speaking on condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to talk to the press.