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'Neutral Oman' joins Saudi-led military coalition

Oman has remained neutral during the Saudi-led coalition intervention in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 December, 2016

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The Omani Sultanate, which generally stays away from taking sides during regional conflicts, has announced it has joined Saudi's anti-terror coalition, the kingdom's media reported on Thursday.

Oman, which usually stays neutral in the face of regional disputes, has joined a Saudi-led military coalition aimed at "fighting terrorism," official media in Riyadh said on Thursday.

The Gulf sultanate, which maintains good ties with rival powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia, became the 41st nation in the alliance announced last year by the Saudi defence minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The official SPA agency said Mohammed allegedly received a message from his Omani counterpart praising Saudi efforts in showing "leadership in the Islamic military coalition in fighting terrorism".

Little information has been provided on the anti-extremist alliance since Riyadh announced its formation in December 2015.

Oman is one of the few Arab states not to have joined a Saudi-led military coalition battling rebels in Yemen and has hosted several rounds of talks aimed at ending the conflict raging there since March 2015.

More than 10,000 people, half of which civilians, have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition began its military campaign in Yemen more than two years ago.

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