Netanyahu led a high-level delegation on his short visit to Oman[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]Editorial Date: 2018/10/27 0:45[/rtl] • [rtl]456 times read[/rtl][/ltr]
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
A statement issued by Netanyahu's office said that the prime minister returned Friday to Israel, while the Omani News Agency reported that the visit was held on Thursday and met with Sultan Qaboos on the same day.
The rare visit comes from an Israeli leader to the Sultanate of Oman a few days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's three-day visit to the Sultanate, during which he also met the Sultan.
Netanyahu was accompanied by a high-ranking Israeli delegation, including Yossi Cohen, head of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and Meir Ben Shabat, Israel's national security adviser.
A joint statement issued by the two leaders said that during the visit, "ways to advance the peace process in the Middle East were discussed, and a number of issues of common concern were discussed aimed at achieving peace and stability in the region."
This is not the first visit by an Israeli official to a Gulf state. In 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres visited Qatar and Oman, where an agreement was signed to open representative trade offices in the two Gulf states.
As was preceded by a visit to Amman in 1994 by former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
On several occasions, Netanyahu has hinted at the warmth of relations with some Gulf states.
He told the Israeli parliament last week that because of fears of Iran's nuclear threat, "Israel and Arab countries are closer than ever."
"This visit to the Sultanate of Oman constitutes a significant step in the implementation of the Prime Minister's policy, which seeks to strengthen Israeli relations with the countries of the region by highlighting Israeli experience in the areas of security, technology and the economy," the statement said.
Netanyahu's visit was not announced in advance, and was not disclosed until after its conclusion.