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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Reports: Israeli PM Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia, met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Hebrew-language media cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen flew to the Saudi city of Neom on Sunday

AP , Monday 23 Nov 2020
Pompeo & Netanyahu
FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leave after making a joint statement in Jerusalem, November 19, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Israeli media reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia for a clandestine meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which would mark the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials.

Hebrew-language media cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, flew to the Saudi city of Neom on Sunday, where they met with the crown prince. The prince was there for talks with visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Flightradar24, which provides live worldwide flight tracking, showed a plane taking off from Tel Aviv on Monday at around 7:30 p.m. local time and vanishing from radar near Neom around an hour later. It shows the same flight appearing on radar near Neom and landing at Tel Aviv at around 1 a.m. Monday. It did not provide any details on the flight.

The Israeli prime minister's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Israel recently signed normalization agreements with two Gulf states - Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - and has long maintained clandestine security ties with Saudi Arabia.

The Gulf kingdom has been rumored to be among other Arab states considering establishing open diplomatic ties with Israel.

However, Saudi Arabia has said that the price for ties with Israel is a Palestinian state.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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