Wall Street Journal: Bin Salman retreated and Netanyahu returned from Saudi Arabia “empty-handed”

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Reuters

The Wall Street Journal said that the secret meeting between Israeli and Saudi leaders failed to reach a normalization agreement, after the Saudi crown prince backed away from the agreement brokered by Washington.

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The newspaper quoted Saudi advisers and US officials as saying that when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia last weekend for a secret night meeting with Prince Muhammad bin Salman, he and his allies in Washington were hoping to obtain assurances from the prince that the normalization deal between the two old rivals was The Middle East is within reach, but instead, Netanyahu has returned to Israel empty-handed.

According to the newspaper, US officials hope to build on the momentum of the so-called “Abraham Accords,” which formalized relations between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, and removes the largest remaining obstacle to Israel’s diplomatic integration in the region, as a central part of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to strengthen The alliance against Iran.

According to Saudi advisers and US officials, Mohammed bin Salman withdrew from the deal largely due to the outcome of the US elections, and Saudi aides said that the prince, keen to build relationships with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, was reluctant to take the step now, as he could use this. The deal was later to help cement ties with the new US president.

Biden said he favored normalization deals between Arab countries and Israel, but took a stricter stance on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, particularly the killing of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi aides said a deal under the auspices of the new US president could put relations between the Biden administration and Riyadh on firm ground.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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