Riyadh skyline
Riyadh skylineiStock

The chairman of Israel's Bank Leumi is due to speak at Saudi Arabia's flagship investment conference in Riyadh on Thursday, in the latest sign of a potential thawing in relations between the two countries, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Organizers of the FII conference confirmed Bank Leumi chairman Samer Haj Yehia's planned attendance in response to a Reuters query. Bank Leumi declined to comment.

Haj Yehia is due to speak on a panel titled "transforming banking and investment for the resilient economy" alongside other top finance executives, including from Rothschild & Company, Societe Generale and Wells Fargo, according to FII's agenda.

Haj Yehia is the first Arab Israeli to serve as the bank's chairman.

Israel has been for years rumored to have behind-the-scenes ties with Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis have vehemently denied those rumors.

Saudi Arabia announced in July that the Kingdom’s airspace will be opened for all air carriers, including Israeli ones.

US President Joe Biden, during a visit to Riyadh, later announced two agreements made with Saudi Arabia which are widely considered to be significant steps on the path toward normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian officials have repeatedly said that a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital is a prerequisite for Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, last month welcomed Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s support for the two-state solution during his speech at the UN General Assembly, but also said it needs to be translated into actions.