The first ever public meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman could take place later this month, according to several sources.
Such a meeting would mark a major milestone in relations between Israel and the Arab world. Netanyahu and MBS are believed to have met in secret before, but a public meeting would be a game changer in geopolitics of the region.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been trying to arrange this for months now, according to reports. The meeting would take place at a summit in Cairo with leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain and Oman in attendance.
“In recent days there have been very intensive discussions between Washington, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to arrange a summit meeting in Cairo as early as the coming weeks, even before the election in Israel, which aside from the host, Egypt, will be attended by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and also the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain and Oman,” an Arab source told the Jewish News Syndicate.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would be invited, sources believe, but a senior PA official already put the kibosh on such an invitation.
“Abbas and the leadership in Ramallah [will continue] to adhere to their boycott of Washington and to freezing diplomatic ties with Israel,” a source said.
America has hinted that “this would likely be Abbas’s and the Palestinians’ last chance to climb down from the tree and partake in the diplomatic developments unfolding in the region.”