Riyadh: Israeli state-media reported on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a secret visit to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also known as MBS.
Saudi Prince Faisal dismisses rumours
However, dismissing the rumours, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia tweeted that no such meeting occurred. He wrote, “I have seen press reports about a purported meeting between HRH the Crown Prince and Israeli officials during the recent visit by @SecPompeo. No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi”.
Although, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he was in Neom and met MBS, there is no official confirmation that Netanyahu met Saudi Crown Prince.
“Pleasure to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Our security and economic partnership is strong and we’ll continue to harness it to advance efforts to counter malign Iranian influence in the Gulf, economic goals under the Vision 2030 plan, and human rights reform,” tweeted the Secretary of State
“Constructive visit with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Neom today. The United States and Saudi Arabia have come a long way since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Al Saud first laid the foundation for our ties 75 years ago,” said Pompeo in another tweet.
US, Israel, Saudi Arabia
As per the report, Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump’s administration wish that Saudi Arabia would follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing ties with Israel.
Riyadh has declined to form formal ties with Israel, saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be discussed first.
However, Riyadh recently announced Israeli airliners could fly over Saudi Arabia to newly available Gulf destinations and to Asia.