Muscat: Tobias Ellwood, UK State Secretary for Middle East and Africa and head of the British side in the Omani-British Joint Action Group praised the efforts exerted by the Sultanate under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said in containing crises in the region.
He said that it has helped maintain security and stability in the region.
In an exclusive interview with Oman News Agency (ONA), he expressed gratitude and appreciation of the British government for the Sultanate's sincere efforts in this regard.
He affirmed that the Sultanate does not only concern about its security, but it also exerts efforts to maintain the security of the region and its countries through bringing the conflicting parties to the dialogue table.
The UK State Secretary for Middle East and Africa conveyed greetings of the British government to His Majesty the Sultan, along with its best wishes of good health and well-being to His Majesty.
He commended the growing bilateral relations between the two countries in many areas, affirming that his visit to the Sultanate stems from the keenness of the British government to enhance and promote these relations in the tourism, educational, defence and security fields, particularly aspects of cooperation in the trade and investment areas.
He pointed out that his country leads the foreign investment in the Sultanate through investments worth 6 billion bounds.
The British official spoke about the economic agreements and partnerships signed between the two sides, such as Khazan Project, signed between BP and the Sultanate's Government and the partnership between the British Babcock International Group and Oman Dry Dock Company.
He affirmed that these investments and partnerships reflect the keenness of the British government to enhance the trade and economic cooperation with the Sultanate.
"They also reflect the confidence of the British companies on the investment environment in the Sultanate," he added.
He also spoke about the Omani-British Joint Action Group, which meets once every six months to highlight cooperation between the two sides in a number of fields, particularly means of enhancing the economies.
As for the electronic visa waiver (EVW), he explained that the second phase of EVW is on progress as the Joint Action Group touched on means of removing obstacles facing the Omanis while applying for the EVW.
As far as Brexit is concerned, Tobias Ellwood, UK State Secretary for Middle East and Africa pointed out that this step is an opportunity for the UK to reconsider its relations with European Union (EU) countries.
"It is also an opportunity to strike more deals with the strategic partners and allies," he furthered.
It should be noted that the Omani-British Joint Working Group was formed as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (UK) of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Sultanate in November 2010.
The group contributes in enhancing and promoting relations between the two countries, as well as opening new horizons for cooperation in the fields of education and training, in addition to the trade cooperation in the Small and Medium Enterprises