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Netanyahu met with Saudi crown prince in Amman: report

Netanyahu has been eager to hint at Israel's warming relations with Saudi [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 June, 2018

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The two countries share a number of strategic interests, including their desire to rollback Iran's regional influence.
Saudi crown prince and de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman held secret talks with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Amman, according to Israel's daily newspaper Maariv.

The meeting reportedly took place on the sidelines of White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt's visit to the Jordanian capital. 

In November 2017, Netanyahu admitted that he had "contacts" with Saudi Arabia and said they have "been kept in general secret".

Also that month, Israel Defence Forces chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said his country was willing to share intelligence with the Arab kingdom to "face Iran".

Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat and the US as their key ally. But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long proved an obstacle to official relations. 

Although Riyadh denies warming behind-the-scenes relations with Israel, Saudi leaders have made several gestures towards Israeli in recent months. 

In April, during an interview with The Atlantic, Bin Salman that Israel has a "right" to a homeland, prompting King Salman to scramble to reject his son's declaration. The crown prince also reportedly said Palestinians should accept a peace deal with Israel or "shut up".

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 following protests in front of its embassy in Tehran.

The two countries back competing forces in a number of Middle Eastern conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. 

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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