Published: Thu, February 14, 2019

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

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

"We are doing everything necessary", said Netanyahu, as he inspected Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set the tone Wednesday, declaring the gathering in Warsaw important because it gives Arab countries and Israel a chance to meet openly "to advance the common interest of war with Iran". Nor do Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which also sent envoys to Warsaw and which share Israel's concerns about Iran's nuclear program and involvement in several regional flashpoints.

Netanyahu expressed similar sentiments when he met earlier in the day with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, telling him that the recent rapprochement between the two countries was "changing the world".

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 a year ago to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions. It will also include discussion on the growing influence of Iran in the region.

Netanyahu's surprising October 26, 2018, visit to Oman marked the first time an Israeli leader publicly visited the Gulf state since 1996. And how they always get made when we say this?


The conference opening on Wednesday evening was originally touted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as focusing on Iran's regional actions, but organizers have since dialed down the emphasis on Tehran.

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 USA -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. "But Netanyahu and Gulf countries are eager to focus on Iran". "They have a very expansionist foreign policy and that destabilizes other countries", said Hook when asked whether the absence of Germany and France's top diplomats at the meeting mattered.

"Poland and the U.S. welcome this outward symbol of this gathering, a symbol of cooperation and a hopeful sign of a brighter future that awaits nations across the Middle East", Pence said.

During the conference US President Donald Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who has been putting final touches on a "deal of the century" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, will make a rare speaking appearance.

The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a Warsaw-hosted, USA -sponsored global conference on the Middle East, was lauded by each of the two sides.

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