Oman's Sultan Haitham and King Abdullah call for Gaza ceasefire from Amman

Sultan on first official visit to Jordan since coming to power in 2020

Jordan's King Abdullah reviews an honour guard with Sultan Haitham of Oman on his arrival at Marka Airport in Amman. Reuters
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Sultan Haitham of Oman on Wednesday discussed the continuing war in Gaza with King Abdullah II on a two-day visit to Jordan, Jordan's official news agency reported.

The two leaders repeated their calls for an immediate ceasefire after meeting at Basman Al Zahir Palace in Jordan's capital Amman, it said.

"The king and the Sultan of Oman stress the necessity of reaching an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, protecting civilians and intensifying efforts to deliver sufficient humanitarian aid to all parts of the strip without objection or delay," Petra News reported.

They called for an expansion of economic ties between Jordan and Oman, including joint investment and co-operation.

King Abdullah received the Al Said medal, the highest Omani award, while the king presented the Order of Al Hussein bin Ali to Sultan Haitham in appreciation of the ties between the two countries and their respective people.

The Sultan was received by King Abdullah II on his arrival at Marka Airport at the start of his state visit to the country, Jordan's Royal Court confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

Oil producer Oman has been playing an interlocutor role to reduce tensions between Iran and the US over Gaza and other regional conflicts. The two-day visit is the first by Sultan Haitham to Jordan since he succeeded the late Sultan Qaboos in 2020.

Oman's ambassador to Jordan, Fahd Al Ojeili, had said the visit was aimed at increasing co-operation on “issues of bilateral interest, especially the Palestinian cause”, said Oman’s ambassador to Jordan, Fahd Al Ojeili.

The two US allies are seen as stable, moderate monarchies supported by Washington, with Jordan dependent on the US for aid flows. Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel while Oman has open channels.

In October 2022, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania went to Muscat on an official visit.

Last month, Jordan helped Israel take down missiles and rockets launched by Iran, while maintaining vocal criticism of Israeli conduct in Gaza. Jordan said it acted in defence of its sovereignty and would not accept its territory being used as a pathway for conflict.

The Gaza war started on October 7 with an attack by the Iran-backed militant group Hamas on southern Israel in which about 1,200 people were killed.

More than 36,700 people have been killed in the subsequent Israeli invasion of Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials.

Jordan and Oman grew closer under Sultan Qaboos, who came to power in 1970, and was friends with the late King Hussein, the father of King Abdullah II.

Jordanian state television reported that King Abdullah II and Sultan Haitham have similar “political visions” and that both “always emphasise the need to treat the Palestinian file with wisdom”.

The two leaders have “spared no effort” to stop the Israeli invasion of Gaza and “empower the Palestinian brethren to establish their own, independent state”, it said.

Updated: May 22, 2024, 4:00 PM