Dec 14, 2018 07:37 UTC
  • Saudi crown prince considering 'game-changing' meeting with Israeli PM: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seriously considering a meeting with Zionist regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with US President Donald Trump playing host, a report says.

The meeting between bin Salman, also known as MbS, and Netanyahu is to be a “game-changing” Camp David-style one, the Middle East Eye said in a report.

Bin Salman has asked an emergency task force dealing with the fallout of the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi to study the idea of a meeting with Netanyahu, sources in the kingdom with close knowledge of the discussions told Middle East Eye.

However, the sources say the idea of exchanging a handshake with Netanyahu has divided the task force, which includes Saudi intelligence, army, media and foreign office officials and political advisers. 

“Some voiced concern about the consequences of this on the Arab and Muslim world,” the source said.

Others in the task force were more enthusiastic. “They thought that the Arab Spring is so divided, and that things are under control,” said the source, referring to the political forces connected to the so-called Arab Spring movement, who would strongly object to the normalizing of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The task force noted the absence of any real reaction on the Arab street to the recent visits of Netanyahu and Israeli ministers and athletes to the Persian Gulf states of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

They also thought they could control reaction inside the kingdom by “using the religious authorities to justify it”, the source said.

“MbS is keen on the idea. He comes from a new generation and does not feel the weight of history on his shoulders. He has shown this repeatedly. He has no particular sympathy with the Palestinian cause,” the source added.

The final recommendation of the task force was to ask for more time to prepare the public opinion.

On Thursday, the Senate voted to stop US armed forces from supporting Saudi Arabia in its military aggression against its impoverished southern neighbor.

The historic bipartisan vote, for the first time, invoked Congress' war powers to challenge US military involvement abroad despite the Trump’s unwavering support for the Saudis in the war.

US senators also unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution naming bin Salman as responsible for Khashoggi's murder.

The report of bin Salman’s move came shortly after Netanyahu reiterated his support for the Saudi regime, saying criticisms of the murder of Khashoggi should not go as far as posing a risk to the kingdom’s stability.

Speaking to foreign journalists on Wednesday, Netanyahu said Khashoggi’s early October assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was “balanced by the importance of Saudi Arabia and the role it plays in the Middle East.”