Israel’s Netanyahu pays surprise visit to Oman

JERUSALEM (AP) — Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says the Israeli prime minister has returned from a visit to the Gulf state of Oman.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement Friday that Netanyahu had been invited by Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said after lengthy communications.

Israel and Oman do not have diplomatic relations. The meeting was the first of its kind between leaders of the two countries since 1996.

The two leaders issued a joint statement saying the two sides “discussed ways to advance the Middle East peace process and discussed a number of issues of mutual interest to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.”