Oman denies establishing diplomatic relations with Israel

Oman denies Mossad chief's statement that it has agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Muscat, Oman
Muscat, Oman
iStock

Oman denied on Tuesday it has agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, a day after the Israeli intelligence chief said his country was renewing ties.

Reports on the "establishment of diplomatic relations between the sultanate and Israel are baseless", the foreign ministry said on Twitter, according to AFP.

"The sultanate is keen to create diplomatic conditions to restore communication between all international and regional parties to work on achieving peace between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, resulting in an independent Palestinian state," it added.

The clarification comes a day after the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, Yossi Cohen, said his country was establishing "formal relations" with Oman.

"Just recently, renewal of formal relations with Oman was declared and the establishment of a representative office of the (Israeli) foreign ministry in that country," he told the Herzliya Conference.

Oman's statement on Tuesday made no mention of an Israeli representative office.

Israel and Oman agreed to open trade representative offices in the 1990s, but in 2000 the Gulf sultanate closed them after the outbreak of the second intifada.

In October of 2018, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman, where he met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Later, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz also visited Oman, where he presented a plan for the construction of a railway between Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

Oman has in the past reportedly offered to play a role in mediating talks between Israel and the PA.

Last week, the sultanate said it will open an embassy in the Palestinian territories in support of the Palestinian people, a first for a Gulf Arab state.



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