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Secret MbS, Netanyahu meeting 'failed to reach normalisation agreement': report

MbS is reportedly reluctant to normalise ties with Israel now [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 November, 2020

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The Saudi crown prince reportedly pulled back from a normalisation deal.
A secret meeting between Saudi's crown prince and Israel's premier in Neom was aimed at reaching a normalisation agreement but failed, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Despite high hopes by Israel and the US, which brokered the Jewish state's recent Abraham Accords agreements with Gulf countries, the plan fell through.

Citing unnamed Saudi advisers and US officials, WSJ said MbS had pulled back from the deal due to the US election results.

While the crown prince – colloquially known as MbS – is reluctant to close the deal now, recent reports suggested he plans to normalise ties with Israel after President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the White House.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen were also reported to have attended the secret meeting.

In an interview earlier in the week on Fox News, Pompeo said he expected further progress on normalisation deals, but implied a breakthrough was not imminent.

Read also: Iran assassination could 'undercut' Biden's diplomatic options

"Whether they'll come in the next 30 days or 60 days or six months is difficult to know," Pompeo said.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have so far refrained from officially commenting about the meeting.

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