By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
Oman’s ruler has given the green-light for Israeli commercial planes to fly over the Gulf state’s airspace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.
“The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos, has permitted El Al flights over Oman,” Netanyahu said at a meeting with Israeli ambassadors in Asia, Europe and North America at the Foreign Ministry premises.
Netanyahu said the decision to permit Israeli flights to fly over Omani airspace was part of a broader change in Israel’s position globally, according to Arutz Sheva newspaper.
“Our diplomatic map has changed dramatically, following diplomatic efforts by Israel,” he said.
There was no comment from Omani authorities on the Israeli claim.
Netanyahu, however, said Israel is still seeking to get approval from Saudi Arabia to shorten Israeli flights to India and Southeast Asia.
Riyadh refuses to allow Israel flights to fly through its airspace.
The Israeli company El Al is forced to cross long routes to reach India and Southeast Asia, making it unable to compete with other companies.
Neither Oman nor Saudi Arabia has diplomatic relations with Israel.
Netanyahu met Sultan Qaboos in Muscat in late October.