Saudi and Israeli Leaders hold secret talks in Jordan

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On Friday this week the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel met in private in Amman Jordan for talks between the two. The meeting was usual because neither country officially announced a meeting of the other and no mention of it was made in either countries media prior to the event. Speculation ran wild Friday as journalists and citizens alike tried to make sense of the meeting between the two especially in such unusual circumstances. It appears the young prince whose short time in power has been a tumultuous one is reaching out to other countries, even longstanding enemies to form diplomatic relations.
The 33 year old bin Salman has wasted no time since he assumed power and was viewed as the likely successor to the Saudi throne. Early on in his reign he has instituted radical reforms, limited the power of the Wahhabi ruling religious class, and also abolished long standing bans on cinemas and allowing women to drive. In late 2017, information slowly leaked out from the kingdom but it became clear that some sort of purge was occurring in the Saudi Royal Family and at its head was Muhammad bin Salman. During the purge all private aircraft were banned from flying as bin Salman feared many would leave the country on their private jets along with their huge fortunes. Those who were in the crosshairs were detained and taken to the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh where they were interrogated. Most were forced to sign contracts under duress and were ordered to pay large sums of money for “bail”. The young prince who is 33 years old seems to be trying to change the image of Saudi Arabia for the future. His “Saudi Vision:2030” which Salman has promoted tirelessly is aimed at making the kingdom not just an oil rich nation dependent upon oil exports but a world economy that manufactures, has a large service industry and also is a main hub for middle east and world finance. In his meetings with the Israeli prime minister bin Salman appears to be gathering allies and making alliances to strengthen his position of power in the royal family and in the region. A common ground which the Saudis and Israelis have similar interests is in their hate for Iran. Netanyahu is looking to make allies in the Sunni Muslim world in order to turn the tide on Hezbollah, A group that has grown exponentially since the breakout of the Syrian Civil War. It remains to be seen wether this secret meeting is just a fluke, or if the two countries are serious about working together for a common goal. Regardless, the meeting of bin Salman and the Israeli PM is sure to have the princes subjects along with the rest of the region guessing what lies ahead.

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