Saudi Prince secret Visit to Israel

Clearly, the war in Syria and the international push for regime change against Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad has created strange alliances in the Middle East over the past few years. Among them, the strangest alliance, Israelis and Saudis.

It’s no secret that common cause in Syria of late has led the historic bitter enemies down a pragmatic path of unspoken cooperation as both seem to have placed the break up of the so-called “Shia crescent” as their primary policy goal in the region. But that’s perhaps why few pundits seemed overly shocked when Israeli media late last week began reporting that a Saudi prince made a secret visit to Israel, in spite of the fact that the kingdom does not recognize the Jewish state, and the two sides do not have diplomatic relations.

Last Wednesday, Israel’s state funded Kol Yisrael radio service made a cryptic reference to the “secret” yet historic visit while withholding names and specifics.

An emir of the Saudi royal court visited Israel secretly in recent days and discussed with senior Israeli officials where they have discussed about the regional peace” the station reported. It added further that, “Both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the issue.”

The visit is said to have happend in the same week, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed “unprecedented” relations with the Arab world. Netanyahu made the comments before members of the foreign ministry and said, “things that are happening today between Israel and the Arab world are unprecedented. Cooperation on a wide range of issues are occurring behind the scenes, more than at any time in Israel’s history.”

But on Sunday reports began to emerge that the unidentified Saudi royal in question is no less than Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, which would indeed be shocking news

“On Sunday, the IUVM Online Arabic news outlet identified the Saudi official who reportedly visited Israel as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia and heir apparent to the throne. The IUVM Online report cited a United Arab Emirates intelligence officer, who claimed that bin Salman was the member of the Saudi royal family who met with Israeli officials in last week’s secret meeting.

Western journalists also began on Sunday to report the dignitary as being Crown Prince Salman – something which could have huge geopolitical consequences for the region given that such a high-level meeting would possibly take place at all.

The reports were immediately spread and subject to disbelief and controversy. Crown Prince bin Salman’s name continued to circulate on Sunday, the Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. attempted to shut down news of the visit. A senior Saudi diplomatic official took to Twitter with a simple “Nope” in reference to the allegations.
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