Omani FM Tours Har HaBayis


Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi wound up a three-day visit to the Palestinian territories and Yerushalayim on Thursday with a tour of Har HaBayis Temple Mount, according to media reports.

He prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and was photographed standing at the site. Accompanying Bin Alawi were Wakf director Azzam al-Khatib and Palestinian Authority Deputy Yerushalayim Governor Abdullah al-Siam.

Prior to Har HaBayis, Bin Alawi met in Ramallah with Palesintian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. They discussed “the efforts of the Palestinian leadership with different states and bodies in light of the American administration’s latest decision regarding the status of Jerusalem,” the official Omani news agency ONA reported.

On Wednesday, Alawi was at Jericho, where he appealed for international support for the Palestinians.

“There was a global desire to establish Israel after the first and second world wars… Now the establishment of a Palestinian state has become a strategic necessity for all the world,” he said.

Although Oman has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, Bin Alawi headed the Omani foreign ministry when an agreement was made to open a representative office in Israel in 1996. He also visited then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Yerushalayim following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.