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There are reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly met with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman overnight.
And while Saudi officials deny the reports, it would mark the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials, according to Fox News. It would also mark another historic development in the Middle East under President Donald Trump.
A Gulfstream IV private jet left Tel Aviv on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. local time and flew to the seaside resort town of Neom, Saudi Arabia, according to FlightRadar, returning to Israel after two hours on the ground, arriving in Tel Aviv after midnight, Fox News reported.
One of the drawbacks to the corrupt media complex going to war with Trump for the last four years is that they refuse to give him credit for anything, including the Middle East being as quiet today as it has been in three decades.
Even the New York Times begrudgingly acknowledges the president’s role here:
Mr. Trump broke sharply with his predecessors’ approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, taking Israel’s side on the status of Jerusalem, West Bank settlements and other occupied territory. His Middle East team applied enormous pressure on the Palestinians in a failed attempt to get them to consider a lopsided peace proposal, then brokered historic normalization accords for Israel with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan — deals that shattered a half-century of Arab solidarity behind the Palestinian cause.
As the liberal paper noted, Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure” against Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and Israeli military effort “to repulse Iran’s expansionist moves in the Middle East,” make for “common cause with Saudi Arabia, the Emiratis and other Gulf states against Iran.”
There is also the fear among some of the possibility of military action against Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration, with the Times reporting last week the president requested a list of military options to stop Iran’s growing nuclear program.
Under a potential Biden administration, the mullahs are likely to face few, if any, limitations, while Biden promises to eliminate the Saudi kingdom’s “dangerous blank check.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly at the overnight meeting, as was Israeli chief spy and the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen.
“I have seen press reports about a purported meeting between HRH the Crown Prince and Israeli officials during the recent visit by @SecPompeo,” Faisal bin Farhan tweeted. “No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud took to Twitter to confirm that there was a meeting, but that Israeli officials were not a participant.
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.
— فيصل بن فرحان (@FaisalbinFarhan) November 23, 2020
In speaking to his party in the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu was coy about the reports.
“My friends, I never reacted to these things along the years as prime minister and I will not do so now. All the years as prime minister I did all I can to strengthen Israel and enlarge the circle of peace,” he said, according to Fox News. “I hope this circle gets wider.”
There is talk of efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which would be a huge development reflecting well on President Trump.
Trump adviser @robertcobrien in brief interview declined to comment just now on Israeli news reports that Netanyahu secretly flew to Saudi Arabia to meet with MBS and Mike Pompeo. O’Brien declined to give an update on efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 23, 2020
A development the N.Y. Times seems to be discouraging, which would come as no surprise.
“A key question for the Saudis is how pushing ahead with normalization in the waning days of the Trump administration would affect their standing in Washington and relationship with the incoming administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.“ https://t.co/FDKir8AH9l
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 23, 2020
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