Oman Welcomes Bahrain's Move to Normalize Ties With Israel

Oman hopes initiative will lead to the establishing of 'an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital,' state TV channel says

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Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said in Muscat, Oman, 
January 11, 2020.
Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said in Muscat, Oman, January 11, 2020. Credit: AP

Oman welcomes Bahrain's decision to normalize relations with Israel, Oman state TV reported on Sunday.

Bahrain on Friday became the second Gulf country to normalize ties with Israel after the United Arab Emirates said they would do so a month ago, moves forged partly through shared fears of Iran.

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"The Sultanate welcomes the initiative taken by the sisterly kingdom of Bahrain," the channel said on its Twitter account.

Oman hopes "this new strategic path taken by some Arab countries will contribute to bringing about a peace based on an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and on establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital," it added.

On September 15, U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a signing ceremony for the diplomatic agreement normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE.

Netanyahu and UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will lead the official delegations to the ceremony.

Israel and Bahrain announced the decision on Friday in a joint statement along with the United States.

Israel and Bahrain will "continue in their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential."

"Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region," it said.

The agreement marks a "new era of peace," Netanyahu said on Friday after Trump announced the new deal. "For many long years, we invested in peace, and now peace will invest in us, will bring about truly major investments in Israel's economy – and that is very important," Netanyahu said in a video statement.

Israel's intelligence minister said a few days after the UAE-Israel accord was announced on August 13 that Oman could also formalize ties with the country. Oman has not commented on its own prospects for normalized relations.

In 2018 Netanyahu visited Oman and discussed peace initiatives in the Middle East with then-Omani leader Sultan Qaboos.In a turbulent region, Oman has maintained its neutrality. It has kept friendly relations with a range of regional actors, including arch-foes the United States and Iran.

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