Netanyahu refuses to comment on the news of his visit to Saudi Arabia

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On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to comment on media reports about his visit to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.The Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, had commented on the news published by Israeli media about the visit, that leaking the news of the secret trip to Saudi Arabia was “an irresponsible act.”

Simultaneously, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, tweeted, denying any meeting between the two parties.

“I saw press reports about a meeting between the crown prince and Israeli officials during a recent visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. No such meeting took place. There were only American and Saudi officials,” he said. The Israeli Army Radio announced that Netanyahu had met with Bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the Israeli Minister of Education, Yoav Galant, confirmed the information.

Israeli bloggers and journalists published the itinerary of a plane that traveled from Tel Aviv and landed in the Saudi city of Neom for 5 hours before returning to it at the same time as the US Secretary of State’s visit.

Israeli media also reported that the head of the “Shin Bet” intelligence agency, Yossi Cohen, accompanied Netanyahu on his visit to the site of the city of Neom in the northwest of the kingdom, which is the closest point to Israel, information that an Israeli government source confirmed to France Press.

A diplomatic correspondent on Israel Public Radio confirmed that Pompeo, who visited Israel last week for two days, participated in the talks.

The radio quoted unidentified Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen “went to Saudi Arabia and met Pompeo and Bin Salman in the city of Neom.” On Monday, several Israeli media outlets also reported identical information.

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