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Bin Salman reportedly considering ‘Camp David-style’ handshake with Netanyahu

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on 16 June 2018 [Saudi Press Agency]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is reportedly “seriously considering” a Camp David-style summit meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hosted by US President Donald Trump, according to Middle East Eye.

The report, citing Saudi sources, says Bin Salman asked an “emergency task force he created to deal with the fall-out from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to look at the idea.”

The plan is to present Bin Salman “as a breakthrough Arab peacemaker in the mould of the former Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat,” the report added.

In particular, the crown prince reportedly “believes that the photo opportunity alone would be big enough to influence the incoming and inherently more hostile US Congress in January”.

“MBS [Bin Salman] asked his task force to study this proposal and he hinted that he liked the idea,” the Saudi source told Middle East Eye.

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While some officials “voiced concern about the consequences of this on the Arab and Muslim world”, others were more enthusiastic, noting “the absence of any real reaction on the Arab street to the recent visits of Netanyahu and Israeli government ministers and athletes to the Gulf states of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar”.

“MBS is keen on the idea”, the source said. “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.”

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