US Diplomat Describes Oman as Switzerland of Middle East

Washington, June 10 (ONA) — Gerald M. Feierstein, US ex-Ambassador to Yemen described the Sultanate of Oman as “Switzerland of the Middle East. He said that there is a hope that the Sultanate will play a significant role in promoting peace in the region.
While participating at a seminar organized by the Washington based Middle East Institute, Feierstein said that the Sultanate appeared as a vital mediator in the recent years and that it has
enhanced its qualifications at a time the turbulent Middle East needs peacemakers.
“While the Middle East is becoming more turbulent, Oman fills the vacuum because its neutrality allows it to speak to all parties. It is not strange therefore for Oman to become the venue for the talks between Tehran and Washington, which preceded the conclusion of the nuclear deal,” he furthered.
He noted that the UN considered the Sultanate “a key country” in the efforts made to end the three-year-long conflict in Yemen. Feierstein added that the Sultanate is also the place where US,
Afghan, Pakistani and Chinese diplomats meet to find a common platform about the future of Afghanistan. The Sultanate has been also one of two states that did not sever relations with the State of Qatar.
He praised the role played by the Sultanate in the release of a French hostage in 2015, two US hostages in 2016, an Australian man, an Indian Catholic clergyman in 2017 and three US hostages who mistakenly crossed from Iraq in 2009.
The ex-US ambassador to Yemen affirmed that this role has helped and is still helping the Sultanate of Oman to maintain its strategic independence. He noted that the Sultanate has a unique
stance as a peacemaker at a region full of conflicts.
“The Sultanate has also been one of the three Arab League’s member countries that did not sever relations with Egypt after the Peace Treaty that was concluded with Israel in 1979,” Feierstein said.

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