Omani airspace open for Israeli aircraft: Netanyahu

In touch with Saudi Arabia to reach a similar arrangement, says Israeli premier

News Desk December 11, 2018
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu PHOTO: REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Sudan and Oman have opened their respective airspace for overflights by Israeli aircraft, Times of Israel reported on Monday.

Netanyahu also mentioned that he is in touch with Saudi Arabia to reach a similar arrangement.

“When I was in Oman, Sultan Qaboos [bin Said] confirmed to me right away that El Al can fly over Oman,” the prime minister told Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem.

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“Therefore, only one small thing remains for us to do,” he added, pointing to Saudi Arabia on a map. “We need to get that El Al can fly over this, and that’s it — we open new markets.”

He remarked that Sudan's airspace enables them to manoeuvre through the North African region which has a predominantly Muslim majority and no diplomatic ties with Israel.

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“Currently we can fly over Egypt, Chad, and apparently, we can fly over Sudan, and then we can fly directly to Brazil, which would save about two hours,” he said.

Earlier in October, Oman welcomed Netanyahu in a 'surprise' visit, which marked Israel making inroads in the middle east. It has also been said that Israel is working towards improving its relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

 

This article originally appeared in Times of Israel.

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