Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘Heartbroken’ by Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

A Netanyahu spokesperson said the two sides discussed ways to achieve "peace and stability in the Middle East", adding that "the Prime Minister's visit is a significant step in implementing the policy outlined by Prime Minister Netanyahu on deepening relations with the states of the region while leveraging Israel's advantages in security, technology and economic matters".

He was accompanied by his wife, Sara, and several senior Israeli officials including the head of the country's spy agency, Yossi.

The meeting was the first between leaders of the two countries since then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres visited in 1996.

Oman's unique position in the region could also see it potentially play a role in mediating tensions between Israel and Iran, especially related to Syria.

The visit came at the invitation of Sultan Qaboos and followed "lengthy contacts between the two countries", the statement said.

"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 U.S. president's long-awaited peace plan.

The Palestinians cut ties with the USA after the White House recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and then moved the American embassy there in May. The only Arab states that recognize Israel are Jordan and Egypt. The US has also cut funding to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees and shuttered the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington. Unlike many Arab states, Oman has also maintained relations with Syria.

Despite being a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Oman has not joined the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar or its military intervention in Yemen.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stated in recent years that Israel has developed good relations with several Arab states, despite a lack of official ties. Before that, Peres' predecessor Yitzhak Rabin, was the first to visit in 1994. A month later, a rare meeting at the White House brought together officials from Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Israel to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

In October 2000, Oman closed the offices after the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada.

Meanwhile, Israel's Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Friday arrived in the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo tournament in which Israel's national team is competing.

  • Tracy Klein