speaks about Oman's foreign policy prior to the Second
Omanis, like all other Arabs, would be very strongly
opposed to a U.S. attack on Iraq. In that sense it's
just the solidarity among Arabs, the sense of affinity.
And also a feeling that it would be a terrible mistake.
That doesn't mean that they're enamored with Saddam
Hussein, because they're not. I think the people throughout
the Middle East have a sense of who the man is.
is really on the periphery of the Arab world, and it
was one of very, very few Arab countries that established
trade mission with Israel. There was actually an Israeli…something
like a trade office in Muscat, which was very unusual.
I mean you would never ever have seen that in any other
Arab, Arabian Peninsula country. So in that sense Oman
was really sticking its neck out. That office was closed
in 2000 because of the Intifada, in the West Bank and
Gaza, because there were demonstrations in Oman.
even a peripheral, sort of remote country like Oman
is clearly affected by what's going on. And the feeling
is that the U.S. has a double standard. Why should they
be concerned about Iraq violating U.N. resolutions and
seemingly unconcerned with Israel doing the same thing.
[I'm] kind of paraphrasing what people say. And it's
also a universal sense from, from well-educated people
to someone from the countryside. They kind of speak
with one voice in that respect.