The head of Israel’s intelligence agency secretly traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to meet with senior officials from the White House and CIA and discuss efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Axios reported.
Mossad’s director, David Barnea, met with various White House officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Middle East czar Brett McGurk, and senior adviser for energy and infrastructure Amos Hochstein. These three recently traveled to Saudi Arabia as part of the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to work out a new agreement that would improve U.S.–Saudi relations, as well as work towards normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sources told Axios that this was the primary issue discussed during Barnea’s meetings with White House officials.
President Joe Biden indicated last week that progress was being made on a possible deal to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, saying at a campaign event in Maine on Friday, “There’s a rapprochement maybe under way.”
Barnea also met with CIA Director Bill Burns. They discussed Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel’s recent judicial overhaul, according to one source.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment in detail about the meeting.