On 22 October, the President of the Palestine Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, went on an official visit to Oman. His visit was hot on the heels of that of the Israeli Head of State, Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited just four days before.
Oman didn’t used to have diplomatic relations with Israel. Mr Netanyahu’s visit had been kept a secret. Inflicted by an aggressive cancer, Sultan Qabous has been very seriously ill for three years. It was on account of these visits that he made his first public appearances.
On October 27, Yusuf bin Alawi, Oman’s Minister for Foreign Affairs of Oman, (photo), participating in the interviews at Manama (Bahrain), called on the other Arab leaders to acknowledge what was going down on the ground and to recognize that Israel was a state. Bahrain’s Sovereign, King Hamed ben Issa Al Khalifa, endorsed Alawy’s position.
The following day, Sultan Qabous sent a delegation to Ramallah (Palestine), to deliver a letter to President Abbas.
It seems that this diplomatic agitation bears some connection with a possible Saudi initiative linked to the White House’s Peace Plan.