Netanyahu meets with Saudi Crown Prince

Netanyahu meets with Saudi Crown Prince

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia for an unannounced meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Israeli news media reported Monday.

The report’s visit on Sunday night will be the first known meeting between high-level Israeli and Saudi leaders and could signal a momentum. Gradually warms the relationship between the two powers.

Mr Netanyahu was interviewed by Israel’s Army Radio and Cannes Public Radio, citing an unnamed official as saying that Prime Minister Mohammed was considering a future city, Prince Mohammed, with Yossi Cohen, head of the spy agency. Near the shores of the Red Sea.

Saudi officials and Mr. Netanyahu’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu’s media adviser, Talkies Luke, posted an article on Twitter about the latest move by Mr. Netanyahu’s defense minister and rival, Benny Gentz. A comment that reads: “Gentz ​​plays politics when the prime minister makes peace,” perhaps hinted at confirming the meeting.

There are no formal diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but speculation is growing that the state may eventually comply. United Arab Emirates And Bahrain, Normalizing relations with its neighbors, Israel, which two smaller states did this year. To do so they were the third and fourth Arab states.

Saudi officials say normalization of relations with Israel can only come in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian people, but the state’s tone has changed in recent years when talking about Israel.

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Prince Mohammed35 35, the son of the Saudi king and the de facto ruler of the state, has said that both Israel and Palestine have rights over their land and that Israel is exceeding economic and security interests, especially with the Arab states, over the shared enmity towards Israel.

A key question for the Saudis is how moving forward with the normalization of the Trump administration’s weak days will affect their standing in Washington and their relationship with the upcoming Biden administration.

President-elect Joseph R. Although Biden Jr. is likely to welcome more Saudi-Israeli rapachem, it is not yet clear whether his administration will push for it like President Trump did or try to use the possibility in a resumption effort. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Starting diplomatic relations with Israel could help Prince Mohammed and Washington restore their prestige in Washington, reduce criticism of the Saudi war in Yemen, crack down on activists and Assassination of disgruntled Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi In 2018 by Saudi agents in Istanbul.

Mr Netanyahu’s visit would have ended later Virtual Group 20 Summit Meeting The weekend was hosted by Saudi Arabia and was accompanied by a visit by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who met with Prince Mohammed on Sunday night. Mr. Pompeo’s plane landed in Niome at 8:30 p.m., and departed three hours later.

The website Flightradar 24, which provides live flight tracking, showed a flight from Tel Aviv around 7.30pm on Monday that landed on the radar near Nyom about an hour later. The same plane reappeared and flew back to Tel Aviv after midnight.

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Avi Scarf, the English-language editor of the Israeli newspaper Harez, posted a map of the first flight on Twitter on Monday.

“Absolutely rare Israeli flight is direct to the new Saudi megacity Nyom on the Red Sea coast,” Mr Rchiff wrote.

Isabel Kerschner and David M. Halffinger contributed to the report from Jerusalem.

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