Saudi crown prince meets pro-Israel groups in US
Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, known as MBS, has met leaders from a number of right-wing Jewish organisations during his tour of the United States, Al Jazeera reported.
According to a leaked copy of his itinerary, Haaretz reported that MBS also met with leaders from the Conference of Presidents, B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
While Saudi Arabia does not officially recognise Israel, analysts have repeatedly said the overtures by MBS overtures signal a warming of ties between the two countries.
Mahjoob Zweiri, the director of the Gulf Studies Programme at Qatar University, said the MBS visit was "a PR campaign aimed to represent a new face of the kingdom to the US, one that was flexible and willing to change".
"There was an old understanding from Arab leaders that the gates for Washington, DC are guarded by pro-Israeli leaders. This includes business leaders, groups such as AIPAC and others linked to Israel," Zweiri told Al Jazeera.
"MBS is following that trend, he's trying to court the US and show them that he supports their plan for Israel-Palestine and their decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
"Another dimension is that when Republicans are in power, it's widely believed they have closer ties to Israel and the Israeli agenda.
"US President Donald Trump's 'deal of the century,' which recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, could also see a normalising of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and force the Palestinians to agree to Israeli demands."
As part of his two-week tour, MBS has already met Bill and Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
He is expected to meet Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul and major opinion-maker in the US in the coming days.
Other notable media meetings include dinner with Rupert Murdoch, CIA director and soon to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.