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Minister: Oman had to invite Israeli minister to conference

Sultan Qaboos of Oman on 15 April 2016
Sultan Qaboos of Oman [File photo]

Oman’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al-Futaisi said Sunday that his country; “the host state” of an international transport conference had to invite Israeli Minister of Transportation and Intelligence, Yisrael Katz and not because of any bilateral partnerships.

Omani media quoted Al-Futaisi as saying that inviting the Israeli minister came within the framework of inviting all members of the International Road Transport Union, IRU to attend the World Road Transport Congress scheduled to take place in Muscat from November, 6 till 8.

“As the host country of this Congress, we can not exclude any of its member states,” he said.

Read: Why Oman’s embrace of Israel is bad news

The Israeli Minister of Transportation and Intelligence, Yisrael Katz announced on Sunday that he will travel to Oman to participate in the conference and present a regional transportation initiative called “Tracks for Regional Peace,” aimed at connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf by rail via Israel as a land bridge and Jordan as a regional transportation hub.

Katz received a formal invitation from his Omani counterpart and the conference organizers which is the first time an Israeli minister receives a formal invitation to participate in an international conference in Oman.

Two weeks ago, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeid received an Israeli delegation led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen at the Al-Baraka Hotel in Muscat.

Netanyahu’s visit to Oman is the first official meeting at this level since 1996.

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