Israel’s Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov made unlikely history in Madrid on Wednesday when he shook the hand of an Iranian tourism representative, Israel Radio reported.
The two found themselves face to face at a reception in Madrid with the Spanish Royal family.
Previously, when confronted with Israelis, Iranian officials have shunned contact. In the past, Iran has even pulled out of sporting tournaments to avoid encounters with Israeli athletes.
This time the Iranian representative, who like Misezhnikov, was visiting Madrid for a trade fair, surprised the Israeli minister and grasped his hand before inviting him to visit Iran.
Misezhnikov, who also visited the Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan stalls at the fair, replied that tourism could be a “bridge for peace” and that he looked forward to the day when all Israelis could visit Iran.