Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held secret talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. According to media reports, the Israeli PM had his first visit to Saudi Arabia and was present in the city of Neems, Lalsagar, for five hours for a high-level meeting with the Saudi leader. During this visit, he also met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu was accompanied by Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad, during this high-level secret meeting. Meanwhile, Pompeo said on Monday that he had a constructive meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia but he too made no mention of the Israeli leader's presence there. Israeli Public Broadcaster correspondent Ken quoted unnamed officials in the country as saying that Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia with the Mossad chief and met Pompeo and Mohammed bin Salman. The meeting comes after a historic deal involving Israel to normalize relations with the UAE and Bahrain. Both agreements have been made on the initiative of US President Donald Trump, bypassing Palestine and Iran opposition.
The secret of such an open meeting
According to the Times of Israel, the three countries wanted to keep the matter confidential. Even the private aircraft of Israeli big business Ehud Engel were used for this trip to Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Netanyahu's assistant also indicated that the prime minister had also canceled a meeting on Corona without informing the defense minister. Some Twitter users found that a jet circled between Tel Aviv and Neom on Sunday, which stayed there for five hours. After this, news of this secret meeting started coming into the media.
Signs of change
The Israeli Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia after the peace deal may signal a historic change in relations with the Gulf countries. The Trump administration is busy normalizing these relationships. Netanyahu also made a secret visit to the Gulf country of Oman in May 2019. While Oman does not have a diplomatic relationship with Israel. At the end of October, Trump said that Israel-Sudan relations would also be normal.