Jordan and Oman affirm 'centrality' of Palestinian cause during state visit

King Abdullah and Sultan Haitham say solution must produce an independent state of Palestine

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Jordan's King Abdullah and Oman's Sultan Haitham issued a joint call on Wednesday to revive efforts to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as they concluded an official visit to Muscat.

The visit came as Jordan steps up its diplomatic efforts to keep the regional focus on the plight of Palestinians. Several Arab countries normalised ties with Israel in the last two years and the Russian invasion of Ukraine introduced new economic concerns in the region.

A joint declaration by the king and Sultan Haitham “affirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause and the need to meet the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people”.

The two men said any solution must be based on the principle of two states, with a “sovereign and independent” Palestinian state to be established on the territory that Israel occupied in 1967.

The Arab peace initiative should also underpin any Israeli-Palestinian deal, the declaration said, referring to an offer by all Arab states made in Beirut in 2002 to Israel for normalisation across the region in return for the full withdrawal from occupied Arab land, as well as a “just” settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue.

Jordan and Oman regard themselves as centrist states in the Middle East. Their foreign policy is not anti-Israeli, with Jordan signing a peace deal with Israel in 1996, and both countries refrain from direct criticism of Iran.

In Muscat on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of Jordan and Oman signed agreements covering tourism, labour, mining, industry and the education sectors, official media said, on the occasion of the king's visit.

On Tuesday King Abdullah and Sultan Haitham bin Tariq discussed regional crises in talks in Muscat.

The meetings were attended by the sons of the two leaders: Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Oman's Crown Prince Dhi Yazan.

King Abdullah was also accompanied by Queen Rania. The couple, along with crown prince Hussein, toured over the last two days the Royal Opera House in Muscat and the National Museum of Oman.

Updated: October 05, 2022, 1:40 PM