Oman welcomes Bahrain's decision to normalize relations with Israel and hopes it will contribute to Israeli-Palestinian peace, Oman state media said on Sunday.
Bahrain on Friday became the second Gulf country to normalize ties with Israel after the United Arab Emirates said they would do so a month ago, moves forged partly through shared fears of Iran.
"The sultanate hopes this new strategic path taken by some Arab countries will contribute to bringing about a peace based on an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and on establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital," the government statement said.
Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said a few days after the UAE-Israel accord was announced on Aug. 13 that Oman could also formalize ties with the country. Oman has welcomed the UAE and Bahraini decisions but has not commented on its own prospects for normalized relations.
In 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman and discussed peace initiatives in the Middle East with then-Omani leader Sultan Qaboos.
In a turbulent region, Oman has maintained its neutrality. It has kept friendly relations with a range of regional actors, including arch-foes the United States and Iran.
After news broke of Bahrain’s normalization agreement, U.S. President Donald Trump commended the development, saying "Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal - the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!"
The Emirates and Bahrain thus become the third and fourth Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, after Jordan (1994) and Egypt (1979) concluded peace treaties that ended the state of war with Israel.
Iran vehemently accused Manama on Saturday of fueling instability in the region, a day after the announcement of the normalization agreement between Bahrain and Israel.
Iran has castigated the rapprochement between the tiny Gulf archipelago and the Jewish state.
"The rulers of Bahrain will henceforth be complicit for the crimes of the Zionist regime, as a constant threat to the security of the region and of the Muslim world," the Iranian foreign ministry said.
Close to Tehran, Lebanese Hezbollah denounced the agreement as "a great betrayal" and "a painful blow to the back of the Palestinian people."