Riyadh skyline at night
Riyadh skyline at night iStock

A senior Israeli official recently visited Saudi Arabia and agreed with his Saudi counterparts to cooperate on a range of issues, including in the field of security, Channel 12 News reported on Friday.

The secret visit, which included meetings at the palace in Riyadh, came amid a process of warming of times between the two countries and ahead of a visit by US President Joe Biden to Israel and Saudi Arabia in a few weeks.

Earlier this week, Axios reported that Biden’s advisers Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein were on a secret visit to Saudi Arabia.

According to the report, McGurk and Hochstein discussed increasing oil production, the Red Sea islands deal, further normalization steps with Israel, and President Biden's possible visit to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier reports indicated that the Biden administration has been quietly mediating among Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt on negotiations that, if successful, could be a first step on the road to the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Israel has been for years rumored to have behind-the-scenes ties with Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis have vehemently denied those rumors.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince reportedly held a secret meeting last November in which they discussed the possibility of normalizing relations between their two countries.

Subsequent reports said the Crown Prince pulled back from a normalization deal with Israel largely because of the US election result. Riyadh denied the meeting had even taken place.

Saudi Arabian officials have repeatedly said that a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital is a prerequisite for Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)