Oman to allow El Al flights over the country – Netanyahu: We are breaking into the world
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a gathering of Foreign Ministry diplomats on Monday that Sultan Qaboos of Oman agreed to allow El Al to fly over the country.
In October, Netanyahu made a secret visit to Oman, a Gulf state that does not formally recognize the State of Israel.
Last month, Netanyahu and Chadian President Idriss Deby renewed relations severed by N’Djamena in 1972.
His talks with Deby had helped open up a new air corridor to South America, Netanyahu said.
“At the moment we can fly over Egypt, Chad, and apparently over Sudan. We are breaking into the world. We need to understand Israeli diplomacy, what is happening here is an unprecedented revolution,” Netanyahu said pointing to a map.
Netanyahu spokesmen did not elaborate and it was unclear when Israeli flights might be able to start overflying Sudan en route to South America, which the prime minister described as Israel’s fourth-most important air-travel destination.
Israeli diplomats say there have been low-level contacts with Sudan in recent years though the authorities there have been reluctant to acknowledge them publicly.
Israel had seen Sudan as an Iranian ally which served as a conduit for arms smuggling to Muslim terrorists in Gaza. Israeli diplomats now say they believe Sudan has distanced itself from Iran.
In recent months Israel has been assiduously courting Sunni Muslim countries, notably Gulf Arab states, who have also drawn closer to Israel over a number of years due to shared concerns about the rise of Shi’ite power Iran in the region.
Some Sunni Muslim powers worry that Iranian influence could foster unrest among their Shi’ite minorities.