Reports: Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia to meet MBS

Israeli media is reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly flew to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also attended the meeting, which took place in the city of Neom, according to the sources. The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the matter. The flight was seen on flight-tracking websites.

A senior Saudi adviser confirmed the Netanyahu-MBS meeting, according to Haaretz, but said no agreements had been reached.

According to the report, the adviser said normalisation and Iran were discussed at the secret meeting in Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu’s private plane took off from Israel at 7:30 P.M. and landed in Neom, remaining on the ground for about two hours. The plane returned to Israel at around half past midnight, according to the flight-tracking websites.

But Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud denied the trip.

He tweeted: “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.”

Over the weekend, Al Saud touched upon the recent normalisation deals in an interview to Reuters, stating that Saudi Arabia has “supported normalisation with Israel for a long time, but one very important thing must happen first: a permanent and full peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.”

During a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister last month, Pompeo had urged the Saudis to consider normalising relations with Israel.

“We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalising its relationships as well, and we want to thank them for the assistance they’ve had in the success of the Abraham Accords so far,” Pompeo said.

Over the past few months the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan have all concluded normalisation deals with Israel.

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