US, Oman Discuss Strengthening Ties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The Sultan’s Palace in Old Muscat, Oman. (Ian Sewell)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke with Oman’s leader, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, about ways to enhance regional security and strengthen economic ties between the two countries, the White House said in a statement.

President Trump thanked the Omani leader for his statements of support following a U.S.-brokered agreement by the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations, the White House said.

“President Trump highlighted the importance of the United States-brokered Abraham Accords announced on August 13th and thanked the Sultan for Oman’s comments in support of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal,” the statement said.

Oman has been mentioned by Israeli officials as another country that could follow the UAE lead in normalizing ties with Israel, but there was no mention of that in the White House statement.

White House adviser Jared Kushner last week said he hoped another Arab country would normalize ties with Israel within months.

The United States and Oman have a free trade agreement that entered into force in 2009. Trade in goods and services between the two countries totaled an estimated $4.4 billion in 2018, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.