Saudi Arabia denies Netanyahu held secret meeting with crown prince

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Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Saud denied on Monday reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret trip to Saudi Arabia to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Israeli news outlets reported Netanyahu went for a meeting that was also attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday.

“I have seen press reports about a purported meeting between HRH the Crown Prince and Israeli officials” during Pompeo’s visit,” Faisal wrote on Twitter.

“No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, the Haaretz newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources, that Netanyahu was accompanied by the head of the intelligence agency Mossad, Jossi Cohen, to the Saudi city of Neom for the talks.

The apparent visit, which was not confirmed by Netanyahu’s office, comes after Israel established full diplomatic relations with two other Gulf Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The newly allied countries share a common enemy in Iran, which they see as the biggest threat to peace in the region.

Saudi Arabia, a traditional Sunni rival to Shiite Iran, had reacted with caution to Israel’s establishment of diplomatic ties with its much smaller neighbours.

Riyadh has, however, allowed flights between Israel and the two Gulf states to fly over its territory.

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