After Netanyahu and Abbas visits, Oman offers help in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts

Oman is offering ideas to help Israel and the Palestinians to come together but is not acting as mediator, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate’s minister responsible for foreign affairs said on Saturday.

Oman relies on the United States and efforts by President Donald Trump in working towards this “deal of the century” (Middle East peace), Alawi bin Abdullah told a security summit in Bahrain a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman.

Bahrain’s foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa voiced support for Oman over the sultanate’s role in trying to secure Israeli-Palestinian peace, while Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom believes the key to normalising relations with Israel was the peace process.

Netanyahu’s rare visit to Oman came days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas paid a three-day visit to the Gulf country and also met Omani leader Sultan Qaboos.

Netanyahu was accompanied on Friday by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad intelligence agency and his national security adviser.

Bin Alawi said “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this, the world is also aware of this fact and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations.”

“We are not saying that the road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world,” bin Alawi told the summit.

The three-day summit was attended by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and his counterparts in Italy and Germany also participated, but Jordan’s King Abdullah cancelled his appearance after a flood that hit the Dead Sea region killed 21 people.