Netanyahu returns from secret, but official, trip to Oman

October 26, 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife returned to Israel a short time ago after an official but previously unannounced trip to Oman today, where he met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Israel and Oman have no diplomatic relations. Pictures below.




Tom Gross adds:

Netanyahu and his wife were invited to visit Oman by its ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Sara Netanyahu was permitted to shake hands with the Sultan without wearing a head covering.

It is the latest in a series of foreign policy and diplomatic breakthroughs by Netanyahu.

This week the Vice President of China, Wang Qishan, also made a historic visit to Israel, staying several days, bringing a large delegation and concluding several economic agreements with Israel. It is one of the longest visits by the Vice-President – widely regarded as the second most important person in China – to any foreign country in recent years.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was accompanied on today’s trip to Oman by the head of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, the National Security Advisor, and the NSC Maj. Gen. Meir Ben-Shabat, the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuval Rotem, and Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz, among others.

Israel continues to significantly improve relations with most of the Arab world, who say they have become fed up with Palestinian intransigence and the refusal by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to negotiate peace with Israel

There are also further reports today that Israel and Hamas are on the verge of signing a long-term truce agreement in Gaza.


UPDATE, November 7, 2018

Four right-wing Likud party Israeli cabinet ministers have now been publicly welcomed in separate visits to Gulf states with whom Israel has no official relations, in the space of just the last ten days.

For a round-up, please see here.


On November 6:

Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz was invited to address a conference in Muscat, where he presented Israeli proposals for a new railway to link the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf states. Dozens of senior officials attended Katz’s speech, including transport ministers and ministry director generals from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Qatar, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, and Yemen.


On October 28:

Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev – one of the Israeli government’s most vocal hardliners, whose positions are to the right of Netanyahu – became the first senior Israeli official to visit Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, at the invitation of the country’s political and religious leadership.

(And moreover Gulf Arab leaders seemed to have no problem with Miri Regev not wearing a headscarf – although they did blur out her legs from official photographs, photo if you scroll down here.)


On October 30:

Another Likud minister, Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara, spoke at a telecommunications conference in the UAE.


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