In Brief: Secrecy surrounds Bibi’s historic meeting with Saudi crown prince

Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo:, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Netanyahu held an historic meeting with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, on Sunday evening.
The meeting – held in the Saudi city of Neom, some 44 miles from the southern tip of Israel – is shrouded in secrecy.
The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, tweeted that the meeting – the first known encounter between Saudi and Israeli leaders – did not happen. He added that only American and Saudi officials were at a meeting between the controversial crown prince and outgoing US secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Netanyahu also refused to confirm reports of the meeting, although he cryptically suggested he was “working on broadening the circle of peace”. However, tweets from Netanyahu’s social media adviser and comments by Israel’s education minister, Yoav Gallant, appeared to confirm reports of the meeting which were first made by the Israeli public broadcaster Kan. The prime minister is said to have been accompanied by the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen.
Netanyahu’s trip on a private jet owned by businessman Udi Angel was initially spotted by an Israeli journalist on a flight-tracking website. According to data from, a Gulfstream IV jet took off from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International airport on Sunday afternoon. It flew south along the eastern coast of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula before heading towards Saudi Arabia’s north-western Red Sea coast. The jet landed in Neom just after 6.30pm and then took off just before 10pm on its return journey to Tel Aviv.
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