Oman foreign minister calls Israeli and Palestinian officials

Yusuf bin Alawi spoke to Gabi Ashkenazi and a Fatah official on the sultanate's support for a just peace settlement

Oman's Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah waits for the arrival of US Secretary of State at al-Alam palace in the capital Muscat on February 21, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi spoke to Israeli and Palestinian officials late on Monday and reiterated his support for a comprehensive settlement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mr Bin Alawi spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to discuss the latest regional developments days after the UAE and Israel agreed to begin normalising relations in exchange for a halt on all annexation of Palestinian lands.

“The Sultanate’s firm and supportive position was clearly affirmed [on the need to] achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East and the need to resume the peace process negotiations and to fulfil the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the ministry said.

Mr Ashkenazi said on Twitter the pair had discussed the UAE-Israeli peace accord.

Oman backed the Abraham Accord, brokered by the US, saying the decision will “contribute to fulfilling comprehensive, fair and durable peace in the Middle East.”

The duo “agreed to maintain direct and continual contact and to continue the important dialogue between our two countries to advance the process of normalisation in the Middle East,” Mr Ashkenazi said.

He said the conversation was a continuation of a discussion that he held with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

Mr bin Alawi then spoke with Jibril Rajoub, the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Fatah party, and the Palestinian official expressed appreciation for the role of Oman in its balanced policy towards issues in the region and particularly the peace process.

While Oman doesn’t officially recognise the state of Israel, the two countries have had on-and-off trade and diplomatic relations since 1994. Ties were cooled in the 2000s after the outbreak of the second intifada.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman in 2018 to meet Sultan Qaboos and after the visit Mr bin Alawi described Israel as an "accepted Middle East state."

Upon the death of Sultan Qaboos, Mr Netanyahu described the late Omani leader as “a great man”.

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