Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering a joint three-way meeting with the United States and Israel either during or after President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to the region.
A senior Saudi official said on Thursday that the kingdom may invite an Israeli representative for an unprecedented trilateral meeting, a possible sign that Riyadh may be willing to publicly acknowledge its warming, under-the-table ties with Israel.
Citing one of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's advisors, the online outlet for the Israeli Yedioth Ahronot newspaper, Ynet, said the move is contingent upon the success of Biden's trip to the Middle East, especially the results of his visit to Riyadh.
The option of inviting a senior Israeli figure to join Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia was discussed before as part of the American-Saudi dialogue, but the chances of this scenario becoming reality seemed very slim. Jerusalem believes such a summit will serve the opportunity to secure "small-medium normalization measures" with Riyadh.
The news came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid both to congratulate him on assuming the role and express US unwavering commitment to their partnership.
The US and Israel are seeking to lay the groundwork for a security alliance with Arab states that would use Israeli technology to connect their air defense systems to combat Iranian drone and missile threats, Reuters quoted sources familiar with the plan earlier in the day.