RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia denied on Tuesday a newspaper report that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently held a meeting with a senior Saudi royal, calling the story fabricated.
Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday quoted unidentified sources as saying Olmert met King Abdullah earlier this month. It said other sources identified the Saudi as another senior member of the royal family.
“A foreign ministry source said there is absolutely no truth to Israeli and Qatari media reports on contacts between Saudi and Israeli officials,” the official news agency SPA said.
“The source said the news is completely fabricated and that the kingdom is carrying out its nationalist role transparently and does not have declared and undeclared policies,” it said.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but Israel’s ally the United States has long sought to prod Arab states into establishing contacts.
Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel while Qatar and some other states have low-level relations.
Saudi Arabia was the driving force behind a 2002 Arab peace proposal that calls for full diplomatic relations between Arab states and Israel and a Palestinian state in all the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.