Saudi minister denies holding a meeting between Muhammad bin Salman and Netanyahu
The Saudi foreign minister Thursday denied media reports of a possible meeting between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid speculation regarding the normalization of relations between the two countries.
"There are no plans to hold a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Israel," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya website in English, in response to one of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
"Saudi Arabia's policy is very clear since the beginning of this conflict. There are no relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the kingdom stands with full force behind Palestine," he added.
The two countries are increasingly focusing on containing Iran as Iran is a major threat, but Saudi Arabia stresses that establishing any relations with Israel depends on Israel's withdrawal from the Arab lands it annexed in the 1967 war, which are the Palestinians Palestinians seek to establish their future state.
Netanyahu appeared last month at the White House when US President Donald Trump presented a peace plan proposing the establishment of a Palestinian state, but differently from the initiative announced by Saudi Arabia in 2002.
The Palestinian leadership has rejected Trump's plan, saying it is largely aligned with Israel while depriving the Palestinians of a viable, independent state.
But Gulf Arab states welcomed the American efforts in a move seen as prioritizing close relations with Washington, to confront Iran, over the traditional and steadfast support of the Palestinians.