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Netanyahu: Cold Weather in Warsaw, But Israeli Ties with Arab World Warming

02-14-2019
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo)
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a rare public meeting with the Foreign Minister of Oman, on the sidelines of the US-Polish sponsored Middle East summit in Warsaw.

The summit, called "Ministerial to Promote Peace and Stability in the Middle East," brought together Israel and 10 Arab countries to discuss issues including terrorism, extremism, and missile development and proliferation.  But the big topic is Iran.

Following his meeting with Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi, Netanyahu said the importance of the meeting was Arab countries are sitting down with Israel publicly to discuss how to combat Israel. 

“We discussed additional steps we can take together with the countries of the region in order to advance common interests. This will continue,” Netanyahu said.

“From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran. What is important about this meeting – and this meeting is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of combatting Iran,” he said.

Netanyahu said Israel is committed to “pushing and driving Iran from Syria.”

“It is cold in Warsaw right now but Israel's foreign relations are warming up, warming up for the better,” he added.

Netanyahu made surprise and historic trip to Oman in November at the invitation of the country’s leader.

“The courageous decision of Sultan Qaboos to invite me to Oman is changing the world. It’s pointing the way for many others to do what you said, not to be stuck in the past, but to seize the future,” Netanyahu said before the Warsaw meeting with Alawi.

“Many are following this lead, and may I say, including in this conference.  I thank you for this positive policy that can lead to peace and prosperity for all. I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Israel, and I allow myself to say on behalf of many people in the Middle East,” he added.

In public comments prior to their meeting, Alawi said this was the beginning of a “new era.”

“This is an important and new vision for the future. People of the Middle East have suffered a lot because they are stuck to the past. This is a new era for the future and for prosperity for every nation,” Alawi said.

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