Arab and international
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The Jerusalem Post newspaper said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted, for the first time, about his visit to Saudi Arabia last month, which the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry denied the news about.
The newspaper said that Netanyahu referred “apparently to his visit to Saudi Arabia at a closed Likud party meeting on Saturday night, in his first known confirmation of this trip.”
Israeli sources confirmed, according to the newspaper, that Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom last month.
And the Jerusalem Post reported, that Netanyahu said in a closed Likud meeting, “I recently visited other Arab countries, and as I could not speak (before) about the UAE, I cannot speak now.”
Netanyahu was responding to a question about whether Israel intends to normalize relations with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The newspaper suggests that the intended country in Netanyahu’s words is Saudi Arabia, as “no other trips that Netanyahu took to Arab countries have been announced, other than his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The newspaper said that Netanyahu expressed his hope to visit the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain after they reached peace with Israel in 2020, but he has not yet done so.
In late November, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan denied holding any meeting between Netanyahu and bin Salman, with a tweet published hours after identical sources announced that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made an unprecedented visit to Saudi Arabia, where he held secret talks with the Crown Prince. Mohammed bin Salman.
In his tweet, Ben Farhan said, “I saw press reports about a meeting between the crown prince and Israeli officials during a recent visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo … No such meeting took place. There were only American and Saudi officials.”
The Israeli Army Radio announced that Netanyahu had met with the Saudi Crown Prince in the Saudi city of Neom, and Israeli Education Minister Yoav Galant confirmed the same information.