Israeli Minister in Oman Attends Transport Conference

Published November 6th, 2018 - 08:59 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 26, 2018 shows him (L) meeting with Oman's Sultan Qaboos in the Omani capital Muscat. (AFP/File)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 26, 2018 shows him (L) meeting with Oman's Sultan Qaboos in the Omani capital Muscat. (AFP/File)

Israeli Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Yisrael Katz arrived Sunday to Oman on an official visit to take part in an international transportation conference.

"This is a historical visit that will improve relations [between Israel and Oman]," he said, adding that he intends to present and promote the mutual initiative “Tracks for Regional Peace” to connect the Gulf states to Israel and the Mediterranean sea.

Katz noted that this will create an axis that will bypass Iran, claiming that his visit is the beginning of "normalization through strength," describing such a step as “important” and “doable."

This is the first time an Israeli minister has been formally invited to participate in an international conference in Oman.

The transportation initiative is based on the planned extension of railway tracks in northern Israel, which would link Haifa’s seaport to Jordan’s rail network, which in turn would be linked to the Gulf.

In October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Muscat for a day on an “official diplomatic visit”, during which he met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

The trip was aimed at reviving Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that have been frozen since 2014.

Israeli reports revealed on Sunday that Netanyahu had met secretly with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi in February, helping lay the foundations for the premier’s visit to the Gulf sultanate.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference and put together by Mossad head Yossi Cohen.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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