Omani FM: Need for Palestinian state like the need for Israel after WWII
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Omani FM: Need for Palestinian state like the need for Israel after WWII

Yussef bin Alawi, on 3-day visit, is the first top diplomat from his country to go to the West Bank

Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi arrives to attend the 136th ordinary meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), on September 15, 2015, in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)
Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi arrives to attend the 136th ordinary meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), on September 15, 2015, in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi on Wednesday, in a rare visit to the Palestinian Authority, compared the current need for establishing an independent state of Palestine to the urgency felt globally to establish the State of Israel after the two world wars of the 20th century.

“There was a global desire to establish Israel after the first and second world wars… Now the establishment of a Palestinian state has become a strategic necessity for all the world,” he said during a visit to the southern West Bank city of Jericho.

Alawi arrived in the West Bank on Tuesday for a three-day visit to the PA — an unusually long sojourn there by an Arab foreign minister. It was also the first visit by  an Omani foreign minister to the Palestinian territories, the Gulf news site AlKhaleej Online reported.

He is slated to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

Oman’s official news agency published an image on its Twitter account of Alawi meeting with senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub

Abbas and Alawi are expected to discuss ways to “confront” US President Donald Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to the report.

The US move was greatly opposed by the Palestinians and the wider Arab world. The Palestinians have said Trump’s Jerusalem decision disqualifies Washington from its historic role as the sole mediator in the peace process.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Alawi, in his remarks on Wednesday, called for “everyone to stand by the Palestinian president for the sake of peace for Palestine and the adjacent areas, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In January 1996, Israel and Oman signed an agreement on the reciprocal opening of trade representative offices. The agreement was suspended during the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000.

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

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