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Netanyahu secretly met crown prince in Saudi Arabia: report

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly flew to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to radio reports.

If confirmed, it would be the first publicly acknowledged trip by an Israeli leader to ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, which has traditionally championed the Palestinian cause and shunned all official contacts with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference in Jerusalem last week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference in Jerusalem last week.Credit:AP

As US President Donald Trump’s term winds down, Pompeo has been trying to coax the Gulf powerhouse to follow its neighbours, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in establishing formal relations with Israel.

Netanyahu’s office and the US embassy in Jerusalem had no immediate comment on the reports aired on Israel’s Kan public radio and Army Radio on Monday.

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