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Trump’s team could be fit for purpose, says Oman’s Minister for Foreign Affairs
December 26, 2016 | 10:08 PM
by Staff Reporter
 
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Muscat: Oman’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has said the Sultanate is not concerned about the incoming US administration under President-elect Donald Trump.

It’s the first time the Omani government has commented on reaction to the controversial US elections and the elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency.

Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, said: “Why should we be concerned? This is not the first US administration to be deemed unfit.

“But it could be fit. The new Washington language, despite its dialect, can be accepted by some and rejected by others, just like rain.”



The minister was responding to questions in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper and his ministry here in Oman tweeted his comments on the new administration, set to take office on January 20.

Donald Trump’s victory sent shockwaves around the world as he started as an ‘also-ran’ candidate with little chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, the experienced Democrat candidate.



Since the victory, Trump has been engaging directly with voters via social media, ramping up the nuclear dialogue globally and attacking various critics across the United States.

Alawi’s reference to “the new Washington language, despite its dialect,” signals Oman’s lack of concern over Trump’s early days.

Some in the Sultanate were not so willing to wait and see, while others feel Oman could benefit greatly from a Trump presidency.

“A Trump government would be very inward looking so trade and the United States’ reliance on Middle East energy resources might reduce,”Apratim Mukherjee, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said.

“The Trump government is looking to boost the US Economy, and since that is what Donald Trump is trying to do, because the Omani Rial is pegged to the US dollar, that benefit should pass on to Oman.

“The only thing we might have to look into is that exchange rate parity and value has to be maintained. If we are able to manage that in terms of our budget and our deficit, it should work for us. “Having said that, we will still be a consumer-oriented and not a production economy.

“In terms of purchasing power parity, we will be able to buy goods at a cheaper rate, Purchasing Power Parity will be maintained, but our conversion into a production-oriented economy will need to be our own initiative,” – said Vahid Ubaidullah, Assistant Director of Professional Studies Department at the College of Banking and Financial Studies.

An investment advisor in Oman said that Oman and US have always maintained good relations, be it political or economic.

“In this modern world, only through cooperation, can countries progress. Oman has been a good ally of the US and we all know that it will maintain the same status in the future.

“Let it be regional political issues like Yemen, Syria or Iran, we have seen that the US trusts Oman as a good ally who can find a solution. So, as the foreign minister has said, why should Oman be concerned?

“I strongly believe that even when Donald Trump assumes power, he will not destabilise everything,” Dr Anchan CK, the investment advisor, said.

“I believe that if Trump recognises Oman’s values he would be able to better the political and economic situation in the region with the help of Oman,” the advisor added.

“Oman and US have had a free trade agreement since 2009. Oman is ranked No. 68 among the United States’ top trade partners,” Anchan added.

Oman’s foreign policy is quite different from other Gulf countries. It enjoys good relations with all the countries including the United States. So whoever comes to power, it makes little difference to Oman, says Abdul Kadir, a prominent businessman in Oman.

“While other Middle East countries have been driven by ideology, the Sultanate of Oman has pursued its own course, with peaceful negotiations. Oman has got nothing to worry about,” another businessman said.

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