BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – The Reuters News Agency reported on Friday that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz had not been informed of the alleged secret visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia.
In the report, the agency quoted a Saudi source with strong ties with those concerned, and a foreign diplomat in Riyadh, confirming that the Saudi monarch had not been informed of the alleged visit, which the Kingdom denied, noting that Riyadh is not expected to take steps to normalize relations with Israel as long as King Salman is still alive.
The two sources described the possible normalization with Israel as a “carrot” to divert the attention of the presumed winner in the US presidential elections, Joe Biden, from other issues, especially the kingdom’s human rights record.
Despite the Saudi denial, Reuters quoted diplomats in the region as saying that US envoys confirmed in private meetings the validity of the reports of the secret meeting between Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the presence of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Reuters reported that the alleged historic meeting sent a “strong message to allies and enemies alike, that the two countries remain firmly committed to containing their common adversary Iran.”
“Iran, Iran and Iran. It is very important to establish an axis to isolate Iran,” said Tzachi Hanegbi, the Israeli minister of settlement affairs and a close ally of Netanyahu, in an interview on Army Radio, in response to a question about the goals of the alleged visit.