Netanyahu Is 1st Israeli Leader To Visit Oman Since 90s

Israel's Netanyahu meets Sultan Qaboos in surprise Oman trip

Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Friday that the visit came at the invitation of Sultan Qaboos

"We never questioned the wisdom of Oman's Sultan Qaboos to contribute to Israel-Palestine issue and we wish him well in his effort", Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed said.

Bin Alawi said earlier that Netanyahu's visit to Muscat and his meeting with Sultan Qaboos was preceded by the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but the two visits came within their bilateral framework. But there were few concrete details on his talks with Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Oman is offering ideas to help Israel and the Palestinians to come together but is not acting as mediator, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate's minister responsible for foreign affairs said.

"We are not saying that the road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world", Yousuf told the summit. While President Donald Trump has promised a Mideast peace plan, U.S. relations with the Palestinians have deteriorated and his efforts to produce the "Deal of the Century" have so far proven fruitless.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), like Israel, view Iran as a regional threat and previously lobbied the USA to withdraw from a multinational nuclear deal with Tehran.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, and his counterparts in Italy and Germany also participated in the three-day summit.

Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt welcomed the "warming ties & growing cooperation between our regional friends" in a tweet late on Friday. "Looking forward to seeing more meetings like this!" The Israeli office in Muscat closed in 2000 in the wake of the Second Intifada, as public opinion was turning against Israel, but the government quietly encouraged Israeli diplomats to stick around as long as the ongoing engagement between the two countries stayed secret.

Israel and Oman do not have diplomatic relations.

Palestinian officials on Saturday expressed concern about a potential "normalization" of relations between Israel and Arab countries, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman.

"Netanyahu and the Sultan talked about "ways to advance the peace process in the Middle East and discussed a number of issues of mutual interest for peace and stability in the Middle East", the PMO said".

Netanyahu, along with a delegation, including Yossi Cohen, the director of the Mossad spy agency, and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, arrived in Muscat on Thursday night and flew back to the occupied Palestinian territories later on Friday, making it the first such meeting in over 20 years.

Regardless of whether such issues pertain to the GCC, the Arab world, the region, or the worldwide arena, Oman has a set of permanent principles and values, centres around attaining peace by resolving conflicts through dialogue and non-violent means. And that's certainly true if you could do it.

"We should do both but I think you should not underestimate the openness and the thirst in the Arab world today for Israel".

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said: "We are thinking of the families of those who were murdered and praying for the quick recovery of those who were injured".

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