Timeline: Six public meetings between Oman and Israel

Timeline: Six public meetings between Oman and Israel

While Israel and Oman currently do not have diplomatic relations, foreign ministers of the two countries spoke over the phone on Monday about peace in the Middle East, following a landmark agreement between Israel and another Gulf country, the United Arab Emirates.

It wasn’t the first bilateral discussion between the two countries.

Here is a timeline of six public meetings between Israeli and Omani officials:

1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visits Sultan Qaboos in Oman

In the first official visit of an Israeli prime minister to a Gulf country, Yitzhak Rabin traveled to Oman on Dec. 27, 1994 at the invitation of the country’s then-ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Sultan Qaboos of Oman (R) exchanges presents with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Muscat, Oman. (AFP)Sultan Qaboos of Oman (R) exchanges presents with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Muscat, Oman. (AFP)

Rabin said the purpose of the visit was “to strengthen, to give backing for the continuation of the peace process,” according to the New York Times report.

Rabin’s aide Shimon Sheves described the meeting as “an important opening to Arab countries not bordering Israel,” the report said.

1995: Oman’s foreign minister attends Rabin’s funeral in Jerusalem

Following the assassination of Rabin in November 1995, Oman’s foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi attended the funeral in Jerusalem.

A general view of the funeral of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Mt. Herzl military cemetery. (Reuters)A general view of the funeral of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Mt. Herzl military cemetery. (Reuters)

Earlier that year, Alawi met with then-foreign minister Shimon Peres in June in the United States.

1996: Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres visits Sultan Qaboos in Salalah

After the establishment of a trade agreement between Israel and Oman earlier that year, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres met Sultan Qaboos in the Omani city of Salalah on April 1, 1996.

Upon arrival at the Salalah airport, the Israeli flag and national anthem greeted Peres, according to the Associated Press report.

Israeli leader Shimon Peres with Oman's Sultan Qaboos. (Israel Government Press Office)Israeli leader Shimon Peres with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos. (Israel Government Press Office)

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a “just, comprehensive, and permanent peace in the Middle East,” the report said.

2008: Oman’s FM holds talks with Israel’s FM

Oman’s foreign minister Alawi met and held talks with Israel’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni, in Qatar on April 14, 2008.

It was the first public meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries, according to the BBC.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni shaking hands with her Omani counterpart Yusef bin Alawi bin Abdullah on April 14, 2008 in Doha, Qatar. (AFP)Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni shaking hands with her Omani counterpart Yusef bin Alawi bin Abdullah on April 14, 2008 in Doha, Qatar. (AFP)

Both ministers were in Qatar for a forum in the capital city of Doha.

2018: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Sultan Qaboos in Oman

Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife, visited Sultan Qaboos in October 2018, in a visit Netanyahu described as “very moving.”

The two leaders issued a joint statement saying that the two sides “discussed ways to advance the Middle East peace process and discussed a number of issues of common interest to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Sultan Qaboos receives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat on Oct. 26, 2018. (Photo: AP)Sultan Qaboos receives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat on Oct. 26, 2018. (Photo: AP)

Two months after the visit, Netanyahu announced that the Sultan had granted Israel’s El Al airlines permission to fly over its airspace.

2020: Israeli and Omani foreign ministers discuss Mideast peace in phone call

Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi spoke to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday, according to Oman’s foreign ministry.

The call came after the UAE announced its historic peace agreement with Israel on Thursday.

Former US Ambassador to Oman Richard Schmierer told Al Arabiya English he believes Oman “will support and try to advance the step taken by the UAE in its decision to seek normal relations with Israel.”

Oman's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. (Reuters)

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