Israel-Oman meeting has 'strategic implications' for Pakistan, says minister

Israel-Oman meeting has 'strategic implications' for Pakistan, says minister
Shireen Mazari. (Photo courtesy: @pid_gov)
Updated 29 October 2018

Israel-Oman meeting has 'strategic implications' for Pakistan, says minister

Israel-Oman meeting has 'strategic implications' for Pakistan, says minister
  • Human Rights Minister says no plane flew into Islamabad from Tel Aviv as reported
  • Comments follow meeting between Omani leader and Netanyahu on Friday

ISLAMABAD: Following a rare meeting between the leaders of Israel and Oman a day earlier, Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, took to social media on Saturday to highlight the “strategic implications” that the rendezvous could have on Pakistan.
“Interesting how Israeli media, with a plane fake news, managed to divert Pak media’s attention away from the imp [sic] security issue of the Netanyahu-Oman visit which has strategic implications for Pak if Israel gets a permanent foothold in Oman where US mly (military) already has a presence,” she posted in a tweet. 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has strongly denied allegations that a private plane flew into Islamabad from Israel via Jordan. Reports of the incident went viral on news channels and social media platforms, with the opposition accusing the PTI government of being involved in “something fishy.”
The plane is said to have landed in Pakistan a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. According to Mazari, the “fake news” was created to divert the media’s attention from the meeting.
In a first-of-its-kind visit in 22-years, Netanyahu, on Friday, returned from an unannounced visit to Oman. According to the Associated Press (AP), the Israeli PM’s office said that he had been invited by the Omani leader after lengthy communications.
Oman state TV carried images of the two leaders holding talks, while Netanyahu shared a video of his visit on his official social media account terming it as “a special visit to Oman — making history!”
The Israeli PM was accompanied by his wife, the head of Mossad (Israel’s intelligence agency), the national security adviser, the foreign ministry director and other defense officials.
A senior Palestinian official told AP that Sultan Qaboos had offered to mediate between the Palestinians and Israelis and that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had welcomed any “meaningful” peace process. However, the official added that the visit was mostly connected to Oman’s “regional role.”
While Oman’s influence is limited, its unique regional position could enable it to play a bigger role in mediating between Israel and archenemy Iran, the AP reported. Thus far, Israel and Oman have not maintained any diplomatic relations. The only Arab States to officially recognize Israel are Egypt and Jordan. Pakistan does not officially recognize Israel, nor does it maintain diplomatic relations with it.
The two countries have long maintained undeclared contacts at the lower levels with the only known interaction to have taken place in 2005 between ex-foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri and his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom.
On Sunday, however, before boarding a flight — for a three-day official visit to Turkey – Pakistan President Arif Alvi asserted that Pakistan “is not going to establish any ties with Israel.”