Report: Saudi defense minister visited Israel in secret last week

Arab media reports that Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Israel in secret last week; Netanyahu last week: Cooperation between Israel and Arab states exists in various ways and different levels, though it still is not visible above the surface (Photo: CC), September 11, 2017.

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Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister reportedly visited Israel and met with Israeli officials in secret last week.

Initial reports from Arab media surfaced of a Saudi prince having visited Israel in secret last week, reports this week claiming that Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the current defense minister and future heir to the throne, was in Israel last week for a meeting(s) with Israeli officials.

The meeting was reportedly centered on Arab initiatives to resume the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, the meeting likely also focusing on the threat Iran poses to the region.

According to media reports “A prince from the Royal Court visited the country [Israel] in secret over the past few days and discussed the idea of pushing regional peace forward with a number of senior Israeli officials. The prime minister and Foreign Ministry offices refused to comment on this matter.”

Reports did not specific whether with whom meetings were held.

Just around the time the prince was reportedly in Israel last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s growing relations with Arab states. He stated last week, “What is actually happening with the Arab states has never happened in our history, even when we signed agreements. Cooperation between Israel and Arab states exists in various ways and different levels, though it still is not visible above the surface. There is much more than during any other period in the history of Israel. This is a tremendous change. The entire world is changing.”