Following his conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, the Foreign Minister of Oman said that his country will not be the next in line to sign a normalization agreement with Israel.
Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi made the comments in the course of an interview with Asharq Al-Aswat, an Arabic-language newspaper based in London.
“We will not be the third Gulf state to normalize relations with Israel,” Al Busaidi said. “We support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and we respect the sovereign decisions of states, just as we expect others to respect our sovereign decisions.”
Oman supports “achieving a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution” which remains “the only option,” he added.
Reports from Arab sources last year seemed to indicate a warming of relations between Oman and Israel, with some even claiming that Oman was close to signing a peace deal. Other reports contradicted this interpretation, however, suggesting that Oman was unlikely to seek a rapprochement with Israel given its ties with Iran.
In the same interview, Al Busaidi denied that Oman was spearheading attempts to launch a regional dialogue with Iran, but said that he did support such a dialogue.
Lapid recently visited the United Arab Emirates, where he angered local business leaders by omitting to meet with them, preferring to set a meeting with local media executives instead. That meeting was ultimately called off. UAE business executives were slighted at Lapid’s decision which, they felt, showed ingratitude toward companies that have invested millions in Israel.
In another recent clash with foreign leaders, Lapid angered Polish government officials by publicly castigating the Polish government for promoting legislation that would bar any future claims for compensation for Jewish property lost in the Holocaust. Lapid called the law “a horrific injustice and disgrace” as well as an “immoral law that will seriously harm relations between the countries.”
Responding to the attack, Poland’s Foreign Minister said that Lapid’s remarks “indicate ignorance and a fundamental lack of understanding of the facts … Lapid’s statement should be unequivocally condemned.”