Jerusalem, 28 January 1996


(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

On Saturday night, January 27, 1996, Israel and Oman signed an agreement on the reciprocal opening of trade representative offices. The agreement, signed in Muscat, is the first to permit the opening of an Israeli mission in the Persian Gulf. The signing ceremony took place during a visit to Oman by a Foreign Ministry delegation headed by Deputy Director-General Yoav Biran of the Division for Peace and the Middle East, and the Director of the Foreign Ministry Director-General’s Bureau, Rafael Barak. The delegation was received by Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi.

Oman has supported the peace process since the Camp David Accords and the peace treaty with Egypt and at the water conference in the framework of the multilateral talks, which took place in Oman. Late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Oman and met with Sultan Qaboos in November 1994, and Prime Minister Shimon Peres has met with the Omani foreign minister several times.

Oman believes that the current step will lead to continued progress in the peace process, and increased stability in the region. The Israeli mission in Muscat will begin operating in the next few days, after the appointment of the chief Israeli representative is approved. The primary role of the Israeli trade office will be to develop reciprocal economic and trade relations with Oman, as well as cooperation in the spheres of water, agriculture, medicine, and communications.