In addition to joint economic and social-development matters, Israel sees Oman as an ally to combat the Iranian regional threat.
By: JNS and the Tower
Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said on Thursday in Oman that Israel and the Gulf states should cooperate on civilian issues such as aviation security and transportation.
“In my view, cooperation … can and should be expanded,” Katz, who attended a transportation conference in the Omani capital of Muscat, told Reuters. “Israel also has a lot to offer when it comes to water desalination, irrigation, agriculture and medicine.”
He also said that a railway from Israel to Oman “makes sense.”
Minister Katz welcomed in Oman:
כך התקבלתי כשר ישראלי בקבלת פנים חמה ופומבית ״במחול החרבות״ בעומאן, חזון אחרית הימים וביטוי לחיזוק מעמדה של ישראל באזור. מחר אציג את תוכנית ״מסילות לשלום״ בפני שרי האזור. pic.twitter.com/MdkoBTaEaC
— ישראל כ”ץ Israel Katz (@Israel_katz) November 6, 2018
The trip comes two weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the country and met with its ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It is the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.
Katz’s trip is the latest by an Israeli minister to the Gulf region, a sign of thawing relations between Israel and the Arab world. Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev and Communications Minister Ayoob Kara have both recently visited the United Arab Emirates. Regev attended the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, where the Israeli team won two gold medals and had Hatikva played for them. Kara spoke at a communications conference in Dubai.
Katz said these visits to Oman by Israel officials “are part of a wider trend of strengthening ties between Israel and the Gulf countries based on common interests and a mutual recognition of the potential benefits for both sides, both in terms of contending with common challenges and threats, as well as opportunities.”
Israel also sees Oman as an ally to combat the Iranian regional threat.