Oman has taken an important step towards rapprochement with Israel. Despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Muscat announced its decision to open its airspace to “all airlines”, including Israeli companies. The statement issued by the Omani Civil Aviation Authority confirmed this “The airspace of the Sultanate is open to all airlines that meet the conditions for flying.”And she said within the framework of “Oman’s continuous efforts to fulfill its obligations under the Chicago Convention of 1944, which provides for non-discrimination between civil aircraft used in international air navigation.”
Although Israel is not directly mentioned in the ad, it is a step forward in their relationship. Until now, Oman has not allowed Israeli airlines to use its airspace. Oman praised the decision of other Arab countries to normalize relations with Tel Aviv, but Oman has not done so yet.
And Saudi Arabia issued a similar statement in July last year, announcing the same decision that Oman announced today. Then, as now, Israel welcomed the Saudi decision. On this occasion, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen described it as “A historic decision that will shorten the route to Asia, reduce costs for Israeli citizens and help Israeli airlines become more competitive.” He also thanked Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and the US government for their “great assistance in making this procedure a success.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also called it “wonderful news,” saying that his country “It has become an important transit point between Asia and Europe.” The similarity of the measures taken by Saudi Arabia and Oman is encouraging. Neither country has established diplomatic relations, but both have increased contacts with Tel Aviv in recent years, which Tel Aviv hopes to translate into future bilateral agreements.
And the most important precedent, the Abraham Accords signed in 2020 with American mediation headed by Donald Trump, set the course for what Israel wants to do with the rest of the Arab countries. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, through the so-called “deal of the century”, have established relations with Israel, as has Morocco, a country with which the Jews have excellent relations. Since then, Tel Aviv and Rabat have accumulated a large number of agreements that strengthen relations between them
Therefore, albeit slowly, Israel continues to make progress in normalizing its relations with Arab countries. This decision taken by Oman, without being decisive, shows that relations are increasingly close and that the intention of the two countries is to continue to promote a rapprochement that, if everything follows the road map established from Israeli territory, will lead to the normalization of relations. with the Omanis.
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