Muscat: Stronger ties with Oman’s maritime neighbours will help the country grow in the future, was the sentiment echoed by the foreign ministers of both India and Iran, on official visits to the Sultanate.
On Tuesday, December 24, the Sultanate hosted both Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, and Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran. Both ministers were greeted on touching down in the Sultanate by Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs.
Jaishankar and Zarif were in Oman to discuss bilateral talks over international and regional issues with Alawi, and during their time in the Sultanate, both India and Oman signed a maritime cooperation agreement, which will enable the training of employees and students across various marine sectors, as well as sharing information to facilitate faster maritime trade between the two nations.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a session of official talks between Oman and its friend, the Republic of India,” reported the Oman News Agency. “The Omani side was headed by Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, while the Indian side was led by Dr S Jaishankar.”
ONA added, “The Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs held a session of formal discussions with Dr Muhammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, who is currently visiting the Sultanate.”
Commenting on the close relationship between Oman and India, Jaishankar said, “I think the fact that so many Indians live here, and that our dealings are very close in so many ways, that I think testifies to our history.”
“From the western coast of India to the shores of Oman, there is just a little bit of water that separates us, so you can see how close the relationship is.”
“I am very confident that the discussions and agreements we are reaching, take our relationship to higher levels,” he added.
“We know that this is a key relationship for us. There is a lot of hope going forward, and Oman has been very generous in hosting a large number of Indians. We have very, very large joint ventures, we are major trade partners, and our cultural, political and historical compatibility expresses itself in many, many ways.”
In context to the relations between Oman and Iran, with both countries sharing control of the Strait of Hormuz, Zarif said, “Yesterday and today, I visited Muscat to discuss and consult with senior officials bilateral relations and regional and international issues.” “Iran and Oman were and still are two neighbouring countries that have very close relations. We will always be by Oman.”
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Javad Zarif also met General Sultan Al Noumani, the Minister of the Royal Office, and Fahad bin Mahmoud Al Said, the Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs, while the former also called on Badr bin Saud Al Busaidi, the Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs.
“His Excellency Badr bin Saud bin Hareb Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, received His Excellency Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, who is currently visiting the Sultanate,” said a statement from the Oman News Agency.