Netanyahu Makes a Secret Trip to Saudi Arabia

Photo: Reuters

Israeli media reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia for a clandestine meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The prime minister was accompanied by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also attended the meeting. Neither the Defense Minister Benny Gantz nor Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi were informed of the trip in advance.  Netanyahu with Cohen took off from Ben-Gurion International Airport at 7:50 PM on a private jet and landed in Saudi Arabia at 8:30 PM

The reported meeting was the latest move by the Trump Administration to promote normalizing ties between Israel and the Arab World.

In Arab News, it was reported that the Saudi Foreign Minister said there were no Israelis that attended the Pompeo meeting. The only officials present were American and Saudi. However, the secret meeting was confirmed by an Israeli Intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.  While Saudi Arabia has behind the scenes friendly relations with Israel, It has insisted that full normalization with Israel will be possible only after a comprehensive agreement for a two state solution with Israel recognizing the 1967 border has been reached.

The secret meeting was apparently done to cement the axis between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Israel and the United States in regards to Iran. However there is another partnership gradually developing with Qatar, Iran, Turkey, Iraq.

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