MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s political philosophy is based on the principle of peace with loving and peaceful nations, non-interference in the affairs of others countries, and we do not accept anyone interfering in our affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, said during an interview with the ‘This Is America and The World’.
“Every nation has the right to work in the system that is compatible with it. Since there are limits that no state can transcend, and we do not interfere in the affairs of other countries and do not accept that anyone interfere in our affairs, we are working with others to form a partnership and friendship,” he said. Here’s a transcript of the interview.
What is the philosophy of Oman?
Peace with peace-loving nations who share with us this thought and basic philosophy.
Your philosophy is not to involve in others’ business?
That is true. We don’t involve in other nations’ affairs.
Does that imply don’t tell us what
No. We do not accept anyone to interfere in our internal affairs.
So it is friendship?
It is. It could be a partnership of peaceful mechanisms. If you look at the map, you will find we have peaceful relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Israel, Egypt, UK, China and US, as well as all other countries.
The Prime Minister of Israel (Benjamin Netanyahu) was here recently.
Yes, he was here.
How do you see that visit? How do other Arab countries see that visit?
What I feel is that he has a problem facing the Arab mindset and vice-versa. We are trying to figure out how we can resolve those different mindsets. The priority is to develop a mechanism that makes people accept the principles of peace and coexistence.
Prime Minster Netanyahu and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos had a long conversation.
Do you think that could lead to peace between Palestinians and Israelis?
It can be, it cannot be. Because both countries are always talking about the past. They have to develop corridors for both of them to use. If they are really interested in making peace, they should look to the future and not talk about the past.
Is this true for both the sides?
This is what we feel. They should forget about the past and look at the future.
One question that should be posed to both the sides.
How do they want to see their children 50 years from now. They have no answer to this, but we have an answer.
It is a must to live together because if we take the land of the Palestinian state — which is the West Bank — based on the border of 67, then
from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on the coast of Mediterranean, it is a length of 12 km.
Then, in 50 years’ time, this city will absorb the Palestinian cities
and Israeli cities and become as
big as London.
Should they wait to resolve the matter before it gets complicated or leave it for 50 years?
Oman has a reputation as a peacemaker or in assisting in making peace. This is our strong belief.
When people say Oman is like Switzerland of the Middle East, do you like that phrase?
We don’t claim that. We are satisfied with what we are.
Do you play an active role in the region?
Depends on how you describe the active role (laughing).
Are you participating, say for instance, in helping resolve the situation in Yemen?
We are trying our bit. This is a situation from which we cannot run away because they are our neighbours.
Do you think there will be peace in Yemen?
Peace is eventually happening. It is always possible.
Do you see peace in Yemen soon?
Depends on how you categorize soon (laughing). Certainly not tomorrow or next week. Two years, five years, ten years… Well, I don’t know. Can’t predict. I believe it is very complicated. Respective parties are looking at the world to help them out.
It does make a difference to you if it happens in your lifetime.
It is the wish of those involved in the war. But it’s time to end it.
You say it will all happen?
Of course, it will happen.
Do you see a situation where hundreds of years from now, we will be living in a peaceful world?
Peaceful world does mean no wars because the world cannot live without wars.
Because that is the nature of the people. There will always be war. There will always be situations that cause wars. See what is happening between the US and China. This is economic war.
How do you see the relationship between Oman and the US?
Excellent for almost 40 years. We have not had a single problem.
You have made peace with your neighbours.
Others do the same thing — make peace with neighbours.