Saturday, June 30, 2018
BIN SALMAN, NETANYAHU MET SECRETLY IN AMMAN: REPORT
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have held secret meetings in Amman, Israel's Maariv newspaper reported Friday.
The two leaders met at the Royal Palace in the Jordanian capital on the sidelines of a visit to Amman by White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.
Citing an informed source, the report said bin Salman's meetings with Netanyahu took place both with and without the presence of Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but they are widely believed to have secret liaisons. Latest reports say the two regimes are working behind the scenes to establish formal relations.
Kushner and Greenblatt are on a regional tour to discuss Washington's so-called peace plan with officials in the occupied territories, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.
As part of the tour, US President Donald Trump's envoys met with bin Salman on Wednesday.
The two sides discussed "increasing cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the need to facilitate humanitarian relief to Gaza, and the Trump Administration’s efforts to facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians," a White House statement read.
The meeting came one day after the envoys spoke about similar topics with the Jordanian king in Amman. Separately, Netanyahu met with King Abdullah in Amman on Monday.
Riyadh has been supporting the US initiative purported to resolve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Saudi crown prince recently sparked controversy by telling the Palestinians that they should either accept peace proposals or "shut up."
“It’s about time that the Palestinians accept the offers, and agree to come to the negotiating table — or they should shut up and stop complaining," Israel's Channel 10 news quoted Salman as saying during a trip to New York in March.