Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS) 2018 Manama Dialogue, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah said: “Israel is one of the countries in the region. … Maybe it is time that Israel had the same privileges and duties as other countries.”

Bin Abdullah said that the Torah and the Israelite prophets emerged in the Middle East, and that there had even been Jews in Medina.

He stated that improved relations between Israel and its neighbors can be accomplished and that such relations would bring stability to the Middle East while serving both Palestinian and Israeli interests. Earlier in the dialogue, Bin Abdullah had expressed his support for the “deal of the century.”

Bin Abdullah made these comments in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Oct. 26 visit to Oman. The video was uploaded to the Internet on Oct. 27, 2018.

Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah: “Let me tell you something I am saying for the first time. Israel is one of the countries in the region, and all of us understand and know this. The world understands and knows this. Nevertheless, Israel’s interactions with its neighbors and its region are different from its interactions with other countries. Maybe it is time that Israel had the same privileges and duties as the other countries. Why? Because, and these are the facts, history tells us that the Torah emerged in the Middle East, and that the prophets of the Israelites were from the Middle East. In Islamic history, there were Jews, even in Medina.

“We live in a changing world. Israel is capable of benefiting others and of benefiting from others. The suffering of the Palestinians, the Arabs, the Israelis, and even the Jews around the world. … When Jews visit areas in the Middle East, they come with American or European passports. They [get by], but this is not how it should be. Therefore, in light of the general atmosphere of the recent days, we believe that these things can be accomplished and that it will greatly serve the interests of both the Palestinians and the Israelis, and that it will also bring stability to the Middle East, which is the most important region in the world.”