A new power broker in the Middle East

Oman is uniquely placed to prevent a seemingly inevitable march to war across the region, Richard Spencer reports


Sultan Qaboos’s foreign policy initiatives have set his country apart from his Gulf neighboursGetty Images

The Times, 

The Sultanate of Oman, a country whose geopolitical significance has always belied its palm tree-lined image as a land more suited to fairytales, is once again at the centre of international intrigue.

For the past two years it has been left out in the cold, its traditional role as a middle man collateral damage in the Trump administration’s war against President Obama, because of its central part in setting up the Iran nuclear deal.

Now, unexpected but apparently long-planned visits by Israel’s prime minister and intelligence minister, coupled with the opening of the first British army base east of Suez for decades, is placing it front and centre of plans to stop the Middle East falling apart.

Gavin Williamson, the defence minister, was in Oman last week for the opening of a new British military baseAlamy

“I was moved to receive such a warm…

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