Dr. Hassan Nafaa: It is very significant because it is not the first visit of Prime Minister to Muscat. The late Shimon Peres has been received by Sultan of Oman in the 1990's, 20 years before.
The Arabian World is holding Israel and especially Netanyahu as accountable for what happened to the peace process because it is not really related to state religion. So, it is very badly hit by the Peer Law, by the Palestinians in general, by the Arab public opinion and it is considered as regulated by the Arab initiative which was adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut 2002.
But there are other interpretations to this visit. Some analysts consider this has some link with what is going on with Iran. As you know Muscat has been claimed the role of mediator between the Iranians and the United States and we all know that there would be really strong sanctions against Iran after the Congressional elections in November. So, maybe this could have a link with this not necessarily in direct correlation with the peace process.
Sputnik: Now, we know this has been an unraveling of relations between the Peer Law and Israel ever since, it's got worse obviously since the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital by the United States. Now, some experts have said that the move gives Israel more momentum for a diplomatic push in the Gulf where it views [the] Arab States as allies against Iran. What are your thoughts on that?
Dr. Hassan Nafaa: Yes, the matter of fact, if we look at this issue from an Israeli perspective or from an Israeli point of view, Israel has been targeting all the Gulf states and recently there has been a strong cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
But now Saudi Arabia is facing a real challenge of targeting of Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul. So, maybe Israel is trying to give the impression that everything is going well and there are other Arab countries that are willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia.
And the Prime Minister in charge Mr. Netanyahu has statements that this visit is not the only one, and 100 % will be followed by other visits to other Arab countries. So it is in the interest of Israel to give the impression that despite the policies with the Palestinians, the cooperation with other Arab countries are going on and there is no problem at all.
Sputnik: The United Emirates have played Israel's anthem for the first time and the Judo tournament and this obviously combines with the forming? of the relations in the region. Can this visit then be perceived as the thumbsore in the relations between Israel and the Arab neighbors then?
Dr. Hassan Nafaa: I think there is a strong alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there is a close relationship between Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of the [United] Arab Emirates.
So, Israel wants to take advantage of this situation and to consider Iran as a threat for the whole Arab World and alliance between Israel and Arab World will be fruitful for both, for Israel, for the Arab World.
But this is not the public opinion, the perception of what is going on. And until now Israel is considered within the Arab World and Iraq especially by the public opinion as the main threat, not Iran.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.