On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a very productive meeting in Warsaw, Poland, with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a Warsaw-hosted, U.S.-sponsored international conference on the Middle East, was lauded by each of the two sides. In a Facebook video, Netanyahu referred to the rendezvous as an “excellent meeting.”
The Times of Israel reports:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah Wednesday on the sidelines of Warsaw’s Middle East conference, telling him that the recent rapprochement between the two countries was “changing the world.”
“I have to tell you that the courageous decision of Sultan Qaboos to invite me to Oman is changing the world,” Netanyahu said, referring to his October 2018 visit to Muscat.
“It’s paving the way for many others to do what you said — not to be stuck in the past but to seize the future.”
Netanyahu said many Arab countries were following Oman’s lead in moving toward more open interaction with Israel, “including at this conference.”
As The Daily Wire has previously reported, Oman has played an outsized role in Netanyahu’s post-Iran nuclear deal diplomatic outreach efforts with the Arab world.
The aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal has seen the warming of relations, however unofficial and clandestine they may generally be, between Israel and large swaths of the Arab world. Israel and many Sunni Arab countries, from Egypt and Jordan to the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, all recognize the Iranian regime as their biggest geopolitical threat in the region. …
Israel’s shadow diplomacy with other influential regional actors has also markedly improved, of late. In October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Sultantate of Oman, marking the first time in 22 years that an Israeli prime minister has visited Oman. Israel and Oman have unofficial economic relations but not formal diplomatic relations. Similarly, in October, Israeli Foreign Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev made an official state visit to the United Arab Emirates’ Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Israel lacks both formal diplomatic and economic relations with the United Arab Emirates.
As Reuters notes, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates all “share Israel’s concerns about Iranian actions in the region and also sent envoys to [the] Warsaw [conference].”
Netanyahu was hardly the only sanguine party. For his part, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah said, “People in the Middle East have suffered a lot because they have stuck to the past. Now we say, this is a new era, for the future.”
The Jerusalem Post reports that, although Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar have all sent representatives to Warsaw for the conference, Palestinian Authority officials are boycotting the U.S.-sponsored confab due to the Trump administration’s 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its relocation of its Israeli embassy to that capital. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Trump administration is unlikely to make a big splash at the conference with an announcement of its impending Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.