Biden speaks with sultan of Oman amid Israel-Hamas war

President Biden spoke over the phone with the sultan of Oman on Friday to discuss regional cooperation amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the White House said.

Biden and Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said discussed the “importance of sustained humanitarian access and the importance of protecting civilians” in Gaza, according to the White House.

“They emphasized the importance of deterring threats from any state or non-state actor seeking to expand the conflict and of working towards a durable and sustained peace in the Middle East, to include the establishment of a Palestinian state,” the White House said.

Humanitarian needs in Gaza have been key to U.S. policy discussion for the conflict. Israel agreed to short “humanitarian pauses” in fighting this week after relentless urging from the Biden administration.

The U.S. has remained the largest backer of Israel and has supported its war effort in Gaza.

Oman is considered an important U.S. partner in the Middle East as a bulwark against Iran. China has also increased its investment in the country in recent years, raising concerns over the country’s allegiances.

China has advanced attempts to build a military base in Oman, Bloomberg reported this week.

The White House said the leaders “committed to strengthening the longstanding U.S.-Oman bilateral relationship and seeking new opportunities in trade and investment, security coordination, and cooperation towards a more prosperous Middle East region.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.