Netanyahu meets Omani FM, hints other Arab states warming to Israel

Blanche Robertson
February 14, 2019

And how they always get made when we say this?

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a very productive meeting in Warsaw, Poland, with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

Foreign ministers and other officials from more than 60 countries were gathering for the conference in Warsaw, which starts Wednesday evening and whose agenda includes Iran, conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Netanyahu's surprising October 26, 2018, visit to Oman marked the first time an Israeli leader publicly visited the Gulf state since 1996.

The absence of foreign ministers from major European powers, Germany and France, highlights festering tensions with the European Union over US President Donald Trump's decision previous year to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions.

Israel's shadow diplomacy with other influential regional actors has also markedly improved, of late.

Israel has been increasingly open about carrying out air strikes in Syria with an election looming in April.

The summit appears to be the first time an Israeli leader and senior Arab officials will attend an worldwide conference centered on the Middle East since the Madrid peace conference in 1991, which set the stage for the landmark Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

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In a re-issued statement to the media, Netanyahu's office said the goal of the meetings in Poland was "to advance the common interest of combatting Iran".

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.

"Iran isn't behaving like a normal country".

Netanyahu says he doesn't think the Trump administration's "Deal of the Century" peace plan will be discussed.

Walla reported that sources in the security establishment stated that the issue would be raised by Netanyahu when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week.

The US and Poland host a Middle East conference Thursday that's meant to address a broad range of security challenges, but looks set to be dominated by Iran, which has become a source of tension between the US and allies and is reportedly causing friction within the administration as well.

Transatlantic cooperation was necessary to resolve problems in the Middle East, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said.

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