Muscat: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken received here today Sayyid Badr Hamad Al Busaidi, Foreign Minister to celebrate the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights, signed on 20 December, 1958, as well as the long history of cooperation that began with its predecessor, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, signed 189 years ago on 21 September, 1833.
Recognizing the strength of the bilateral relations, the two sides announced the commencement of the first US-Oman Strategic Dialogue, which will include three working groups focusing on education and cultural exchange, trade and investment, and renewable energy. The working groups intend to meet regularly and tangibly advance shared goals.
The two sides underscored the historical, strategic, and growing partnership between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman on regional security. The Secretary thanked Foreign Minister Al Busaidi for Oman’s steadfast support in humanitarian issues, including its role in securing the freedom of American citizen Baquer Namazi from Iran.
Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Al Busaidi reaffirmed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen, and underscored their support for Yemen’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence. They called for a comprehensive extension of the UN-mediated truce and launch of an inclusive political process that will allow all Yemenis to determine the future of their country. A truce extension will provide immediate relief to the Yemeni people through the release of salary payments and other measures.
They also affirmed that only a political resolution to the conflict can address Yemen’s dire humanitarian crisis and enable a more stable and prosperous future.
Secretary Blinken thanked Oman for its important role in securing the truce over the last several months and expressed his hope that, with Oman’s support and the overwhelming consensus in the region and beyond, the Yemeni parties will reach an agreement on a comprehensive truce extension soon and put the country back on the path to peace.
Underscoring the importance of people-to-people ties, the two governments are committed to moving forward to discuss the resumption of academic and cultural programs, such as the Fulbright program for Omani scholars, and expanding professional and research-led academic exchanges, to include collaboration in support of the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation, signed on 22 January, 2016.
Both countries lauded the 2009 US-Oman Free Trade Agreement as a basis on which to expand commercial opportunities. They welcomed the upcoming signing of a memorandum of understanding between Oman and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which will deepen cooperation in key economic sectors ranging from renewable energy to manufacturing.
Both countries reiterated their joint commitment to strengthening global climate action, and supporting access to affordable, dependable, and clean energy.
Secretary Blinken praised Oman’s recent announcement of a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 goal, as well as Oman’s target of producing one million tons of green hydrogen by 2030. Both countries highlighted this goal as a useful focal point in the context of their shared desire to deepen public and private cooperation on clean energy innovation and deployment.
The United States welcomed Oman’s continued leadership in hosting the Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) and advancing regional peacebuilding through shared solutions to freshwater scarcity.
Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Al Busaidi also discussed their strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the basis for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Both Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Al Busaidi also affirmed that international disputes must be resolved by peaceful means, and in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, and discussed the importance of protecting the fundamental freedoms and values enshrined therein.