BREAKING: Oman’s foreign minister holds phone call with Israeli counterpart

The Israeli ministry said the call was a follow up to contacts made with the UAE regarding the normalization plan.

Oman’s foreign minister, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday, days after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced plans to normalize ties with Israel.

According to a statement of the call sent to the Middle East Eye, the two spoke about the “need to strengthen relations”, the UAE-Israel deal, and other developments in the region.

The ministers “agreed to maintain direct and continual contact” and “continue the important dialogue between the two countries, to advance the process of normalization” in the region, the statement said.

The Israeli ministry said the call was a follow up to contacts made with the UAE regarding the normalization plan.

Oman has already declared its support for the UAE-Israel (Abraham Accord) deal reached on Thursday.

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 recognize 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.”

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said meets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat, Oman in 2018.

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

Israel’s intelligence minister said on Sunday that Bahrain and Oman could be the next Gulf countries to follow the UAE in formalizing ties with Israel.

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