Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said on Monday that Oman allows Israeli planes to fly through its air space.
This indicates another effort of Israel to maintain tied with Arab nations despite having ongoing conflict with Palestinians.
The announcement follows Prime Minister Netanyahu´s surprise visit to Oman in October. Currently, only two Arab countries i.e. Jordan and Egypt officially recognize the existence of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “When I was in Oman I spoke with Sultan Qaboos, who told me El Al would be able to fly over Oman.”
Oman allows Israeli planes to use its air space gives Israel little practical use since its planes were not allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia in March began allowing Air India flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv to use its airspace, but not Israeli carriers.
Israel´s occupation of the West Bank and conflict with the Palestinians have been obstacles toward relations with Arab countries.
Speaking with Israeli diplomats in an annual conference in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that unspecified Arab leaders do not wish to condition their “normalization with Israel” on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.
“This doesn´t mean peace agreements (with Arab states) yet, but it certainly means that our progress toward normalization and peace, instead of what we always thought — from peace with the Palestinians to the Arab world — could happen in the opposite direction,” he said.
Israel has made headway in recent months in its efforts towards ties with Arab nations in the Gulf that do not officially recognize the country, including through sport.
In October, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev toured the UAE´s famed Sheikh Zayed mosque, Israel´s communications minister delivered a speech in Dubai and the Israeli national anthem was played at a judo competition in Abu Dhabi.