Friday, October 30, 2020

‘Israel is a legitimate state in the region,‘ Oman says

By Anna Donati - October 30, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli government]

Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Oman on Friday, Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah made it clear that his country was not a mediator between Israel and Palestine, but proposed ideas to help both parties converge. 

"The Sultanate offers ideas to help the Jewish state and the Palestinians to meet, but does not seek to intervene as a mediator," bin Abdullah said at a summit on security in Bahrain.
"Our priority is to end the conflict and open up to a new world. Oman is counting on the United States … efforts to achieve "the agreement of the century," bin Abdullah said at the summit.
The Omani Foreign Minister emphasised that "Israel is a legitimate state in the region and we all know it.”
"The whole world is fully aware of it. It may be time for Israel to be treated the same way [as other states] and bound by the same obligations,” he added.
Following suit, Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, expressed his support for Oman in favor of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Saudi Arabia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel bin Ahmed al-Joubeir, also stressed the importance of the peace process.
According to many observers, these speeches mean that the Gulf countries are preparing the normalization of their relations with Israel.
For his part, US envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, hailed "the strengthening of ties and growing cooperation between our friends from the region," he said in a tweet Friday evening.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his visit to Oman and his meeting with Sultan Qaboos bin Said were "of great importance to Israel and its security."
"On Friday, I returned from a historic diplomatic visit to Oman, where I met the Omani leader, Sultan Qaboos ben Sai'd. He is a leader with a long and impressive experience,” Netanyahu expressed on Twitter.
Netanyahu stated him and SUltan Qaboos discussed at length the challenges facing the Middle East and promised there will be more discussions in the future.
This marked the first visit of an Israeli official to Oman in 22 years, with Netanyahu declaring the trip was part of the diplomatic efforts made in recent years to get closer to Arab countries.

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