Netanyahu Reportedly Flew to Saudi Arabia to Close Peace Deal With Crown Prince
i24 News – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly flew to Saudi Arabia last Sunday in hopes of closing a normalization deal with Riyadh, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
According to the paper, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, however, refused to commit to what would have been a monumental seachange in Israeli-Arab relations due to Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the US election over Donald Trump on November 3.
Last Sunday, Netanyahu reportedly flew to the Saudi city of Neom, accompanied by the director of the Mossad to hold a tripartite meeting with the Crown Prince and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The Prime Minister’s Office has neither confirmed nor denied that such a meeting took place.
According to a Saudi adviser and a senior American official quoted by the newspaper, Netanyahu and Pompeo hoped to secure a promised commitment from the Saudi Prince to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
But the crown prince reportedly opted instead to hold off on forging ahead with an agreement in deference to the incoming Biden administration, preferring to get off on the right foot with the new American president.
Meanwhile, a new poll released on Friday showed the vast majority of the Saudi public remains generally opposed to establishing links with the Jewish state.
According to the survey conducted for the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy think tank, only 30% of Saudis answered “somewhat” or “strongly” agree that “people who want to have business or sports contacts with Israelis should be allowed to do so.”