A New Period in Arab-Israeli Relations?

(Weekly Standard) Stephen Schwartz - Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom has predicted that "ten Arab countries will soon open diplomatic relations with Israel. A good period awaits us with the Arab world." In the near term, candidates for revived and improved diplomatic relations include Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, and Oman. The inclusion of Oman on the list is, at first glance, remarkable. Oman's majority follows a religious tradition known as Ibadhism that is the most conservative form of Islam in the world. Oman's constitution, the Basic Charter, declares that the state is founded on Sharia law and makes Islam the state religion. Yet Oman differs from Saudi Arabia in permitting open religious worship by non-Muslims, mainly Christians and Hindus.

2004-12-16 00:00:00

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