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Netanyahu 'secretly' met Saudi crown prince, Pompeo at NEOM: report Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Netanyahu 'secretly' met Saudi crown prince, Pompeo at NEOM: report

The meeting has not been confirmed officially by the parties involved. [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 November, 2020

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A reported meeting between MbS and Netanyahu hints at the first-ever Israeli official's visit to the Kingdom.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly flew to Saudi Arabia on Sunday and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Citing undisclosed sources, the report said that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also attended the meeting, which took place in the city of NEOM – an under-construction megacity proposed by MbS that has been shrouded in controversy. 

The flight - a private plane Netanyahu has reportedly previously taken on visits to Russia - took off from Israel at 7:30pm and landed in NEOM on Sunday, according to flight-tracking websites. The plane made its way back to Israel around midnight. 

At the time, Pompeo was in NEOM to meet with MbS.

"Constructive visit with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in NEOM today," the US official tweeted on Monday.

Read also: Pompeo touts Iran policy in Gulf ahead of Biden presidency

"The United States and Saudi Arabia have come a long way since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Al Saud first laid the foundation for our ties 75 years ago," Pompeo said.

There was no official confirmation from Israel, Saudi or the US.

If the visit is confirmed, it would be the first publicly acknowledged trip by an Israeli high-ranking official to Saudi Arabia, custodian of Islam's two holiest sites and a traditional champion of the Palestinian cause.

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