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HomeGeopolitical CompassArabian PeninsulaMohammed bin Salman pulls out of planned meeting in Washington with Netanyahu

Mohammed bin Salman pulls out of planned meeting in Washington with Netanyahu

Author: David Hearst

Organization/Publisher: Middle East Eye

Date/Place: August 25, 2020/UK

Type of Literature: Opinion Article

Word Count: 1779


Keywords: Israel, Saudi Arabia, normalization. Mohammed bin Salman


In this exclusive by Middle East Eye, its editor in chief exposes more details on the planned visit by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) to Washington, DC to meet the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The US President Donald Trump as well as his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner pushed for this meeting to take place. The author reports that the date for the visit was agreed upon and a protocol team had already been dispatched which included the purchase of four DC area homes in order to keep the crown prince’s visit secret. However, the plan fell apart and MBS canceled when he received reports that his visit was leaked. The author explains that the plan needed to be kept secret so MBS’s opponents in Congress would have no time to prepare statements and protests against MBS related to the murder of Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi; the visit also needed to be kept secret to avoid legal action from Saudi Arabia’s former interior minister Saad al-Jabri, who is taking refuge in Canada and who is suing MBS for similarly dispatching murder squads to eliminate him, one of which was caught attempting to enter Canada in 2018 on tourist visas.  The author emphasizes that MBS accordingly feared that his presence in the US for a meeting with Netanyahu would become a “nightmare.” The author argues that MBS’ ambition to appear with Netanyahu in a big event would be enough to relaunch his image as a peacemaker, but that the leaks prevented and challenged this image leading to the crown prince’s cancellation.

By: Fadi Zatari, CIGA Research Associate



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