On Wednesday, it was announced that Netanyahu would pay a visit to the UAE on early Thursday. An Emirati source who is familiar with the matter said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, abbreviately known as MBS, may come together in the UAE on Thursday. According to Israeli media, quoting sources stated that “MBS is ready to meet Bibi.” The issue regarding an alleged meeting that is expected to happen between Netanyahu and MBS was asked to Netanyahu, and he replied cynically that: What is the point of asking a question that you know you cannot get an answer to?
However, on Thursday morning, the Prime Minister Office announced that Netanyahu’s visit was delayed because his wife was taken to the hospital for appendicitis. Another reason for the postponement of the visit is the dispute with Jordan about the plane carrying Netanyahu to pass through Jordanian airspace, the Prime Minister Office stated. Netanyahu’s visit had been planned to be a day-long visit. It was planned that Netanyahu would head to Abu Dhabi on Thursday morning by private plane and hold meetings at the airport. Then, he would return to Tel Aviv before 6 p.m. on the same day for his planned meeting with the prime ministers of Hungary and Czechia.
It is known that Netanyahu had planned to visit the UAE and Bahrain for several days. However, these were canceled because of pandemic restrictions and political developments within Israel. This was the fourth visit attempt which was canceled. The new schedule has not been determined yet.
There are no diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Although, a kind of rapprochement has been observed between the two states for a while, particularly in cooperation against Iran, which both see as a common enemy. In fact, it was speculated that Netanyahu and MBS met in the Saudi mega-city project NEOM. This issue has never been officially confirmed by both sides.