Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

The sultan of Oman offered to play a role in mediating talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), a senior PA official told The Associated Press (AP) on Friday.

The comments came hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Oman, marking the first time since 1996 that an Israeli Prime Minister has visited the country.

Days before Netanyahu's visit, reported AP, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas also visited Oman, raising the possibility that Oman might be trying to help revive negotiations.

The senior PA official said the sultan had offered to play a role mediating between the Palestinians and Israelis, and that Abbas had said he welcomes any "meaningful" peace process.

The official said, however, that Abbas’s visit was mostly connected to Oman's "regional role." He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The US has been working on peace plan for Israel and the PA, but the PA has rejected US attempts to restart peace talks with Israel and has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

The PA chairman has continuously chosen to impose preconditions on talks with Israel rather than heeding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call to negotiate.

Meanwhile, Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations who is working on the American peace plan, welcomed Netanyahu’s visit to Oman.

“We welcome the warming ties and growing cooperation between our regional friends. This is a helpful step for our peace efforts and essential to create an atmosphere of stability, security and prosperity between Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbors. Looking forward to seeing more meetings like this!” he tweeted.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)