October 29, The Iran Project – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Persian Gulf state of Oman which has no diplomatic ties with Israel and met with Sultan Qaboos on Friday (Oct. 26).
According to Israeli English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post, the two men discussed ways to advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as a number of issues of mutual interest with regard to the region’s stability.
Netanyahu was accompanied by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad spy agency and his national security adviser, his office reported.
The visit came days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Qaboos on a three-day visit to the Persian Gulf Arab country.
It is necessary to know that Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan among Arab countries, but there have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudis and Israeli officials too.
The rare visit is considered by several analysts as a part of plans of regional Arab countries that are dramatically trying to warm their relations with the apartheid regime of Israel after reports of secret contacts. Also, the move has sparked different speculations and criticisms.
A day after Netanyahu’s unannounced trip to Oman, Iranian Parliament Speaker’s Special Aide Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reacted and said in a tweet that the Friday meeting with Israeli premier is far from the wisdom of Sultan Qaboos.
“Palestine Deal of the Century” will not be fruitful for Trump and Netanyahu, he noted.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement criticized Oman for welcoming Israeli prime minister during his unannounced trip to the Arab country.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the president of the Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee (SRC), stated that the real goal of the Israeli premier’s trip to Muscat “is to isolate Oman from playing any positive role in the future with its allies and friends.”
He also noted that Muscat should learn “a lesson” from the governments of those Muslim countries that “normalized ties with Israel but lost their nation” as the condemned relations with Tel Aviv created deep rifts between them and their people.
On the other side, while playing down the visit by Netanyahu, Oman has asserted that it will not act as a “mediator” between Israelis and Palestinians.
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.
“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 quoted Abdullah as saying.
Despite apparently trying to sound impartial, Abdullah reiterated Oman relied on the United States and efforts by US President Donald Trump in working towards the “deal of the century.”
The meeting was the first of its kind between leaders of the two countries since 1996. Oman and Israel reportedly had economic ties, but no diplomatic relations, in the aftermath of the 1993 Oslo Accord.