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Ties with Oman Delayed at Request of the Gulf State

Israel and Oman have postponed a decision on when to establish low-level diplomatic ties.

In a meeting held over the weekend at the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and his Omani counterpart, Yussuf ben-Allawi, discussed the opening of interest sections in their respective countries, but did not set a specific date for the move.

The opening a economic interest sections is considered a preliminary step toward the establishment of full diplomatic ties. The two also discussed economic issues, including the sale of natural gas to Israel and Israel’s relations with the other Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, who accompanied Peres to Jordan, told Israel Radio that the Omanis “had their own reasons” for delaying the process. But Beilin added that the opening would probably take place within several months.

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