Arafat Briefs Sultan of Oman on Statehood Declaration
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat landed in Muscat Tuesday for talks with Sultan Qaboos on the delay in declaring an independent Palestinian state, an official Omani source said.
Arafat will also discuss efforts aimed at bringing impetus to the Middle East peace process, the source said.
The 129-member Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization decided on Sunday to postpone a declaration of a Palestinian state, handing Arafat the responsibility to fix a new date beyond the original September 13th deadline.
Oman's Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah had urged the Palestinian Authority on August 23 to delay proclaiming an independent state in the interests of the Middle East peace process.
Oman is the only Gulf Arab country that has a trade office in Israel, opened in August 1996, but its chief was recalled in January 1997.
Along with Qatar, Oman also hosts an Israeli trade mission. Neither has diplomatic relations with Israel - MUSCAT (AFP)
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