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Was Netanyahu's Reported Visit to Saudi Arabia a Sign Normalization is Around the Corner?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Courtesy GPO

JERUSALEM, Israel – Multiple Israeli publications reported on Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with the Mossad head Yossi Cohen flew to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

On Sunday a flight-tracking website showed a plane flew from Tel Aviv to Neom, Saudi Arabia. 

However, during a meeting of his Likud Party, Netanyahu refused to confirm or deny the trip to Saudi Arabia. 

"My friends, I have never addressed such things along the years and I will not start with that now and I can only tell you that for years as prime minister, I have spared no effort to strengthen Israel and expand the circle of peace and with the help of God we manage to do that with our neighbors, with the Emirates, with Bahrain, with Sudan and I also hope that this wave will always go and expand,” he said.

Pompeo did visit Saudi Arabia and met with the crown prince, but a Saudi official denied any Israelis were present, saying: “no such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi.” 

Despite the denial, sources confirmed the meeting with Joel Rosenberg on his news site All Israel News. Rosenberg has organized two meetings with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US evangelical leaders. 

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Rosenberg believes Netanyahu’s reported visit isn’t necessarily a sign that the Saudi’s are ready to normalize ties with Israel.

“We should be cautious in drawing any hasty conclusions that the Saudis are ready to seal a formal peace deal, but a meeting with Netanyahu could be seen as the first of many steps toward negotiating such a deal. There is a case, however, for moving quickly. Joe Biden has threatened to ‘reassess’ the US-Saudi alliance, which has grown strong under President Trump,” said Rosenberg.

President Trump has said a number of times the Saudis would eventually sign on to the Abraham Accords.  

Earlier this year Rosenberg told CBN News what it would mean if the Saudis normalized relations with Israel and came to Jerusalem. 

“It would be historic if the Saudis who are already starting to warm their relations with Israel,” he said. “But if they decided that the king or the crown prince or one of their major leaders was to come here, you would be covering it and it would be huge. It would be an epic making moment.” 

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