Palestinian state prerequisite for full Israel relations – Omani Minister

Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs,Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi
Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaid. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — The Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, has stated that the establishment of a Palestinian state will be a prerequisite for the Sultanate of Oman to establish full relations with Israel. Busaidi emphasized that Oman's neutrality should be seen as positive, proactive, and constructive.اضافة اعلان

Currently, Oman and Israel maintain quiet and unofficial relations. However, there have been positive signs indicating a potential improvement in their relations, Amad News reported.

Notably, in October 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Muscat and met with the late Sultan Qaboos, marking the first visit by an Israeli leader in two decades. Additionally, in February, Oman followed Saudi Arabia's lead by opening its airspace to all airlines, including Israel.

Not at the expense of ignoring or closing the door on Palestinians
Busaidi made it clear that while Oman is open to establishing a relationship with Israel, it will not do so at the expense of ignoring or closing the door on the Palestinians. He stressed the importance of a comprehensive agreement that includes committing to the relationship and recognizing the state of Palestine as part of any full relationship with Israel.

Previously, it was believed that Oman would be among the next Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel. Oman has commended Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco for joining the Abraham Accords. Shortly after the UAE-Israeli deal was announced in August 2020, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi spoke with his Israeli counterpart, emphasizing the need to strengthen relations.

However, Israel's regional acceptance has faced obstacles due to the formation of a right-wing coalition government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose members hold hardline views against the Palestinians. Busaidi acknowledged that Oman is ready to assist in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process when the Israeli camp shows the necessary mood and readiness, which is currently lacking.

The fate of Syria
In another development, it has been revealed that the Sultanate of Oman has played a role in mediating between the US and Syria regarding the fate of the missing American journalist Austin Tice. Busaidi confirmed that there have been exchange messages between the two parties. While he couldn't confirm progress towards finding a resolution, he expressed hope that the process would continue.

Moreover, the Sultanate of Oman expressed its aspiration to witness Syria fully reintegrated into the international community. Busaidi noted that there are specific questions and aspects that need to be addressed. Oman is committed to fostering balanced relationships and considers India, China, and Russia as equal friends in this regard.

As Oman navigates its foreign policy, the country remains committed to pursuing constructive engagement and contributing to regional stability and peace.

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