Oman optimistic about Trump peace plan, recognizes Israel as 'state'

Sultan of Oman receives Israel PM 'after prolonged contacts'

"We are not mediators in Israel-Palestine, but we offer facilitation and ideas to help two parties to come together", he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made an unannounced visit to Oman, an Arab state with which Israel has no diplomatic ties, and met with Sultan Qaboos.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement the prime minister was invited by Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said after lengthy communications between the two nations.

The Israeli premier's trip formed part of "the policy outlined by Prime Minister Netanyahu on deepening relations with the states of the region", his office said.

Though uncommon, Israeli leaders have previously visited the Gulf state.

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Accompanying Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were National Security Adviser and National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat; Mossad director Yossi Cohen; the head of the Prime Minister's staff, Yoav Horowitz; the director of the Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem; and Brig.

In 1996, the late Shimon Peres went to Oman and Qatar when he was prime minister and opened Israel trade representative offices in both Gulf countries.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also paid a three-day visit to Oman earlier this week.

A Wikileaks cable from 2010 reported that Gulf states believed they could "count on Israel against Iran".

Oman, which sits on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, with Saudi Arabia to its north and Iran to its east, has a long record of being a quiet broker in the region, opting to stay on the sidelines of the rivalry between the two regional powerhouses.

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"Second, Donald Trump talks about the deal of the century, or the ultimate deal, and when he talks about it - he means there will be new partners", Eldar added, referring to the United States president's long-awaited peace plan.

Oman has a history of helping to mediate Middle Eastern conflicts, though it has never had consistent diplomatic relations with Israel.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stated in recent years that Israel has developed good relations with several Arab states, despite a lack of official ties. Despite vocal opposition by Israel and disapproval of several Sunni countries including Saudi Arabia, the deal offered Iran relief from worldwide sanctions in exchange for its scaling back of parts of its nuclear program.

In another sign of improving relations, Israeli Sports Minister, Miri Regev flew to Abu Dhabi where Israel's judo team was participating in a major tournament.

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