Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO
PM Netanyahu and Omani Foreign Minister Yosef bin Alawi meet in Warsaw.

The Sultanate of Oman welcomed Israel and Bahrain’s announcement on their normalization of ties, leading the speculation the Gulf country was the next in line to announce its normalization of ties with the Jewish state.

Oman’s Foreign Ministry stated Sunday that the country “welcomes the initiative taken by the sister kingdom of Bahrain within the framework of its sovereign rights and the tripartite joint declaration on relations with Israel.”

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The Sultanate “hopes that this new strategic direction will be a practical tributary towards achieving peace based on ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and establishing an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital,” it stated.

“This embodies the principle of the two-state solution as stipulated in Arab and international charters and decisions, and reflects the aspirations and demands of all countries and peoples that love a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East and in the world at large,” it concluded.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke on August 18 with his Omani counterpart Yosef bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that the two spoke about “recent developments in the region, the normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the need to strengthen relations between Israel and Oman.”

According to Israel, the Omani Foreign Minister emphasized the “strong stance of the Sultan and his support of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East as well as the need to resume peace negotiations.”

In its statement, Oman underscored the need to “fulfill the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, which is consistent with the Arab position.”

Ashkenazi expressed his “deep appreciation” for the commitment of Oman and bin Ali to “peace and stability in the Middle East.”

They agreed to maintain direct contact and to continue the dialogue between the countries “to advance the process of normalization in the Middle East.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife visited Oman in October 2018 and met with the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said after lengthy contacts between the two countries.

Netanyahu’s visit to Oman was the first Israeli official meeting at this level since 1996 when Shimon Peres visited.

Former Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman in November 2018.

Netanyahu met with bin Alawi in Warsaw in February 2019.

Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will sign an agreement at the White House on Tuesday, the first to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The UAE is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.

Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman, Morocco or Saudi Arabia.

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