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Saudi prince delays normalization pact with Israel due to Biden win — report

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly pulled back from a normalization deal with Israel due to US President-Elect Joe Biden’s win in the US elections and the prince’s desire to build ties with the incoming administration.

Bin Salman, son of the 84-year-old King Salman and the kingdom’s de facto ruler, is reluctant “to take the step now, when he could use a deal later to help cement relations with the new American leader,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

Bin Salman held a meeting this past week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who flew to the Saudi Red Sea city of Neom for the secret rendez-vous on Sunday alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where the trio discussed developments in Iran and possible normalization.

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A Saudi government adviser had earlier in the week confirmed the meeting and the trip to the WSJ, saying that the meeting, which had lasted several hours, focused on Iran and the establishment of diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem, but did not yield substantial agreements.

Citing Saudi advisers and US officials, the WSJ reported Friday that a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia under the brokerage of the new president, Bin Salman hopes, “could put relations between the Biden administration and Riyadh on surer footing.” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, L, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin........

© The Times of Israel

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