Israeli Leader Visits Oman’s Ruler in Sign of Improving Relations

IDF Military Intelligence Director Major General Aviv Kochavi

IDF Military Intelligence Director Major General Aviv Kochavi

Joining Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were Mossad Director Yossi Cohen; National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat; Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem; Netanyahu Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz; and Col. Avi Blot, Netanyahu's military secretary.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas also visited Oman this week, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The two leaders issued a joint statement saying the two sides "discussed ways to advance the Middle East peace process and discussed a number of issues of mutual interest to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East".

The Israeli premier's trip formed part of "the policy outlined by Prime Minister Netanyahu on deepening relations with the states of the region", his office said.

Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, met several Jewish groups and pro-Israel lobbies during a trip to the United States earlier this year and declared that Israel had the right to its own land alongside Palestinians.

Unusually, the trip was prominently highlighted in Oman's state media.

Sahle-Work Zewde named Ethiopia's first woman president
The president, in her acceptance speech before the two houses, vowed to serve her country and its people with her utmost efforts. Ms Sahle-Work, 68, made history as the east African country's first woman in the ceremonial but symbolic role.

The meeting was the first between leaders of the two countries since then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres visited in 1996.

Bahrain foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa said his country supports Oman's vision of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while his Saudi Arabian counterpart called the peace process "the key" to normalizing its relations with Israel.

A Wikileaks cable from 2010 reported that Gulf states believed they could "count on Israel against Iran". Although it is a member of the Saudi-led six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, it did not join the kingdom in its boycott of Qatar or the war in Yemen.

Oman's foreign minister visited Israel in 1995. A month later, a rare meeting at the White House brought together officials from Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Israel to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Unlike many Arab states, Oman has also maintained relations with Syria.

In October 2000, Oman closed the offices after the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada.

Sports Minister Miri Regev arrived on Friday for the event's opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi, marking the first time an Israeli minister has visited the UAE in an official capacity.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.