Saudi Arabia denied on Monday that a meeting had taken place between its commerce minister and Economy Minister Nir Barkat, even though a viral video showed their interaction on the sidelines of a World Trade Organization conference in Abu Dhabi, Reuters reported.

The kingdom's state news agency SPA reported, citing an official Saudi source, that Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi was standing alongside his Nigerian counterpart when "an unknown individual approached the minister to offer greetings."

He "later identified himself as the minister of economy in the Israeli occupation government," SPA said, quoting the official Saudi source.

Barkat, in a statement early Monday morning, said he met with the Saudi Minister.

According to his office, Minister Barkat told the Saudi Commerce Minister, "The State of Israel is interested in peace with countries that seek peace and we can make history together."

The interaction between Qasabi and Barkat was a rarity given the lack of formal relations between their countries but is notable since the US has been attempting to bring about a normalization deal between the countries.

Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared to be on track towards normalization before Hamas’ October 7 attack against Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.

Shortly after the start of the war in Gaza, sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is putting the US-backed plans to normalize ties with Israel on ice.

Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, later said that he believes talks on normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will resume immediately after the conclusion of the war in Gaza.

Saudi officials have long insisted that statehood for the Palestinian Arabs must be part of any process which concludes in the kingdom recognizing Israel and normalizing ties.

Prince Faisal said last week that normalization with Israel requires both an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state.