Oman, which hosted Netanyahu last year, says it will open embassy in West Bank
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Oman, which hosted Netanyahu last year, says it will open embassy in West Bank

Country’s foreign ministry says the decision comes ‘in continuation of the sultanate’s support for the Palestinian people’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi shaking hands in Ramallah on October 31, 2018. (Credit: Wafa)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi shaking hands in Ramallah on October 31, 2018. (Credit: Wafa)

The sultanate of Oman announced Wednesday it will open an embassy in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

A tweet from the Omani Foreign Ministry said the decision comes “in continuation of the sultanate’s support for the Palestinian people.”

A diplomatic adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the move.

The announcement comes as Bahrain hosts a summit on a US Mideast peace plan by the Trump administration, focusing on the Palestinian economy.

In April, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi told The Times of Israel that the US administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will fail if it does not provide for a Palestinian state.

Oman, on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, runs its own foreign policy, often at odds with its Gulf Arab neighbors, such as maintaining close ties to Iran. But it also hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October and Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said made a rare visit to the West Bank last year.

The only Arab countries with which Israel has formal relations are Egypt and Jordan, but its relations with some Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates, appear to have recently warmed as part of a tacit alliance against Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) talks with Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Oman on October 26, 2018 (Courtesy)

Netanyahu met Qaboos in Muscat in October 2018, becoming the first Israeli premier to do so in more than two decades.

He also met Qaboos in February on the margins of an American-Polish conference in Warsaw on the Middle East.

In February, Qaboos said that Oman will not normalize its relations with Israel until a sovereign Palestinian state has been established.

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