Netanyahu pays historic visit to Oman, meets sultan

Netanyahu pays historic visit to Oman, meets sultan
In this photo was released by Oman News Agency, Oman's Sultan Qaboos, left, receives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat, Oman, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Israel and Oman do not have diplomatic relations. The meeting was the first between leaders of the two countries since 1996 and former Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin made a similar surprise visit to Oman two years earlier. (Israeli Prime Minister's Office via AP)

Cairo:  Israel’s Prime Minister paid a historic visit to Oman, where he met with the sultan of the Gulf country, which has yet to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel, official sources announced on Friday.

The Omani state-run TV broadcast a video of Sultan Qaboos bin Said welcoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the royal palace of Bait al-Baraka, located near Muscat, Efe reported.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Oman is the first official meeting at this level since 1996,” Netanyahu posted to his official Twitter account, accompanying the tweet with a photo of the meeting.

During the meeting, Netanyahu and the sultan discussed boosting the peace process in the Middle East and matters of mutual interest, including security and stability in the region, according to sources.

Israeli media reported that Netanyahu was accompanied during the visit by his wife Sara and a number of leading state officials, including the director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, Yossi Cohen, and the country’s national security adviser and National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat, among others.

Oman, like most Arab countries except Egypt and Jordan, does not recognize the state of Israel.