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Oman urges Israel to create independent Palestinian state

DUBAI — Oman’s foreign minister told his Israeli counterpart he hopes Israel’s new government will take concrete steps towards creating an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, Omani state media said on Thursday.

Oman’s Badr al-Busaidi spoke by phone to Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, according to ONA, the state news agency of Oman, which has a longstanding policy of neutrality in the turbulent region and often acts as a mediator.

In February, Busaidi said Oman was satisfied with its current relationship with Israel even after fellow Gulf States the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalized ties with Israel last year under U.S.-brokered accords.

Lapid will travel to the UAE next week in the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the Gulf state since they established diplomatic relations. He will inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Israel in Dubai. (Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Pravin Char)

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