His Majesty's Saudi Arabia visit to strengthen ties between the 2 countries

Oman Saturday 10/July/2021 11:18 AM
By: Times News Service
His Majesty's Saudi Arabia visit to strengthen ties between the 2 countries
His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik meets Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Muscat: The Omani-Saudi relations are set to scale new heights after Sunday, ushering in a new era of wider prosperity and expanded cooperation, as His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik visits the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where he will meet the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The two countries are bound by deep-rooted ties, which will be consolidated further by His Majesty the Sultan’s historic visit, his first official visit abroad since he assumed power in the Sultanate on 11 January, 2020. His Majesty the Sultan’s meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will be the second of its kind after their first meeting in January 2020 in Muscat when King Salman arrived in Oman to offer his condolences on the death of late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimur.

Right from the first day of his accession to the throne, His Majesty affirmed his determination to work in close coordination with his brethren, leaders of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, to upgrade the GCC march towards the realisation of achievements that respond to the GCC peoples’ aspirations.

Under the leadership of His Majesty the Sultan, the Sultanate has always reiterated its well-founded political stands, which proved to be constant through sustained, positive diplomatic efforts towards issues of the region. The diplomatic efforts of the Sultanate are supported by an exchange of high-level visits between the Sultanate and other GCC states.

Principles on which Omani-Saudi relations are established are solid and enduring. Testimony to this is the tangible progress made between the two countries in political, economic, social, cultural and security spheres. It is renewed evidence that these relations are continuous, open and are expected to see further comprehensive growth.

The two countries’ keenness on exchanging points of view about matters of common concern is reflected in high-level meetings between their leaders and top officials, examples of which are the continuous contacts between His Majesty the Sultan and King Salman. Omani and Saudi visions are identical in many ways, including their stands in the field of environment, which is considered one of the most significant international issues raised in the agendas of UN organisations.

The Sultanate expressed its appreciation towards Saudi Arabia’s “Green Middle East” initiative to safeguard the sustainability of the environment. The initiative, announced by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in partnership with the region’s countries, envisages the implementation of the greatest afforestation programme aimed to address environmental challenges.

His Majesty expressed the Sultanate’s support to the Kingdom’s environment conservation efforts during a telephonic conversation last March with Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence in Saudi Arabia.

Over a period of two years (2020 and 2021), the Sultanate and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intensified high-level bilateral meetings. In March 2020, His Majesty received Prince Khalid bin Salman al-Saud, Deputy Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, who was on a visit to the Sultanate to explore aspects of existing cooperation between the two countries and ways to realise the joint interests of Omani and Saudi peoples.

During the meeting, Prince Khalid bin Salman said he was delighted to convey a message from the Saudi leadership to His Majesty the Sultan. He pointed out that during the meeting, emphasis was laid on “enhancing the brotherly, bilateral and strategic relations between the two countries in all fields”.

The Omani-Saudi diplomacy converges on many visions, notably on combating terrorism and safeguarding international peace and security. This prompted the Sultanate to join the Anti-Terrorism Alliance of Muslim Countries in 2016 and to support the efforts of Saudi Arabia in this respect.

In its political statements, the Sultanate has always expressed its support for the government of the Kingdom vis-à-vis a variety of issues. The Sultanate welcomed the initiative announced by Saudi Arabia last march to reach a political settlement of the Yemeni crisis through dialogue with different parties and in cooperation with the UN efforts aimed at realising the desired political settlement in Yemen.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expressed its appreciation for the Sultanate’s efforts and its “positive role” in supporting the efforts of UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith and US Special Envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking. This recognition was reaffirmed by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah at a press conference he held in Riyadh last March 2021.

Today’s remarkable growth and expansion of Omani-Saudi relations is in pursuance of a benign march led by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimor and his brethren, Kings of Saudi Arabia, over the past decades. It is based on solid foundations and clear-cut principles that distinguish the ties of the two countries. These relations resulted in many agreements and joint ventures in all fields.

The positive reactions of Oman and Saudi Arabia at many levels are conspicuous. They underscore the keenness of His Majesty the Sultan and King Salman to press ahead with promoting this deep-rooted relationship.

The visit of His Majesty the Sultan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and his meeting with King Salman will give impetus to the bilateral relations and it will constitute a new starting point for establishing a more prosperous future for the people of the two countries. It will lend support to concepts of justice, peace, security and tolerance in regional and international issues of common concern. The visit will also cement intra-GCC ties and rally efforts of GCC leaders to consolidate stability and upgrade the rate of prosperity.

The future of Omani-Saudi relations bodes well at the hands of their two wise leaders, His Majesty the Sultan and King Salman. This visit will open up wide vistas of cooperation in the fields of business, investment, ICT, posts, transport, standardisation, media, youths, sports and culture, among other spheres.

These areas constitute significant pillars in Oman Vision 2040 and Saudi Vision 2030. They will definitely bring a wide range of benefits to the people of the two countries. In the meantime, talks between the two leaders will contribute to resolving pending issues and shaping joint visions and consensus on current regional issues. They will draw on the great political expertise of the two countries and their diplomatic traditions founded on solid grounds of sound foreign policy, coupled with an earnest quest for establishing peace, security and stability in the region and the world at large.