Press TV – Oman says it will not act as a “mediator” between Israelis and Palestinians, playing down an earlier visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The sultanate was only offering ideas to help Israel and Palestinians to come together, Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah told a security summit in Bahrain’s capital Manama on Saturday.
The remarks came a day after Netanyahu visited Oman in a rare visit, while accompanied by other senior Israeli officials, including the head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.
“We are not saying 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,” Reuters cited Abdullah as saying.
Despite apparently trying to sound impartial, Abdullah said Oman relied on the United States and efforts by US President Donald Trump in working towards the “deal of the century.”
The Trump administration has targeted the plan at the situation in the Palestinian territories.
Details are yet to emerge, but reports say it envisages a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty across about half of Israel-occupied West Bank and all the Gaza Strip. The deal also reportedly foresees potential disarming of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and does not find Palestinians entitled to the eastern part of Jerusalem al-Quds as their capital.
This is while Abbas, who visited Oman before Netanyahu for three days, has renounced the plan, saying it has been devised without consulting the Palestinians. He also spurned any intermediary role by the US late last year after Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
In June, however, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan assured the US of their support for the plan during visits to those countries by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy to the region.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the Manama gathering on Saturday that the kingdom believed the key to “normalizing” relations with Israel was the “peace process.”
The Omani minister also claimed Israel was “present in the region, and we all understand this, the world is also aware of this fact and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations.”
Observers say Muscat has come to accommodate the US plan under pressure from Washington and Riyadh, the strongest US ally in the Persian Gulf region, which has been inching towards Tel Aviv over the past years.
Palestinian groups, however, condemned the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Oman, urging Arab countries to support the oppressed people of Palestine, instead.
Hamas warned about the dangerous consequences of Netanyahu’s visit for the people of Palestine. The Islamic Jihad movement also censured the visit, saying Oman acquitted Netanyahu of the crimes committed against innocent Palestinians by welcoming him to the country.
Commenting on Netanyahu’s visit, Paul Larudee, with the Free Palestine Movement, told PressTV, “What in the world would Netanyahu know about peace and stability, when his objectives and objectives of Israel have always been war and instability?”
“The importance is what their objectives are not. They are not about Arab unity, not about solidarity with Arabs who are suffering namely the Palestinians,” he said.
“These other countries realize that sooner or later they are potential targets of Israel…that they can be in the same place that the Palestinians are now,” Larudee said.