Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the authorities of Oman had allowed Israeli planes to use the country’s airspace for flights, adding that Israel was working toward getting similar authorization from Saudi Arabia.
“When I was in Oman, Sultan Qaboos [bin Said] confirmed to me right away that El Al [flag carrier of Israel] can fly over Oman,” Netanyahu told reporters, as quoted by The Times of Israel newspaper.
Talking to reporters at the annual ambassadors’ conference, Netanyahu added that “only one small thing remains for us to do,” referring to the need to get similar permission from Riyadh.
“Currently we can fly over Egypt, Chad, and probably we can fly over Sudan, and there we can fly directly to Brazil, which would save about two hours,” the prime minister added.
Netanyahu paid a visit to Oman in October, despite the fact that the countries have no diplomatic ties.
According to the media outlet, given the fact that Oman is located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel — the arrangement on flights over Oman so far has no practical implications.
Israel and the majority of Arab states in the Middle East do not have diplomatic relations. However, Israel and a number of regional states countries, in particular Saudi Arabia, are reportedly involved in regular unofficial contacts at various levels.
In late November, media reported that Netanyahu was planning to visit Bahrain.
Israeli Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told Sputnik earlier in December that Tel Aviv would continue developing relations with Arab and Muslim countries amid the existence of common problems and threats, including the fight against terrorism and the Iranian problem.
Nahshon also said that such rapprochement could help in resolving the Palestinian issue.