Muscat: Oman’s foreign policy of peace and cooperation with everyone is based on the same beliefs it follows towards domestic development, the country’s Foreign Minister, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al-Busaidi, has said.
“My colleagues in the Foreign Ministry work towards multilateral and inclusive approaches to our own work,” he said. “We are not doing so in isolation, rather in coordination with an approach to domestic policy that also emphasises inclusion.”
Al Busaidi was speaking during an interview hosted by the Atlantic Council, an organisation based in the US that looks to create partnerships between the United States and other countries to jointly solve global issues.
“Together, Omanis are tackling the enormous task of economic reform and diversification, in particular with the aim of creating a better future for the young people and future generations,” said the Foreign Minister, explaining how the new laws issued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik are focused towards all-round development.
“His Majesty recently issued a revised Basic Law, in which a commitment to economic development, to the provision of social protection for all, to the right to work, and to the sharing of responsibility for national wellbeing are all affirmed and strengthened,” he explained. “This emphasis on social cohesion is supported by a further emphasis on human rights, and a clearer separation of powers.”
Quoting the US President, he said: “We welcome the clear statements made by President Joe Biden when he said ‘we can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbours, we can treat each other with dignity and respect, and we can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.’
“I know President Biden had domestic American policy in mind when he said this, but his message applies equally to foreign policy, and is equally urgent and welcomed,” explained Al Busaidi.
The event was hosted by Marc Sievers, the former US Ambassador to Oman, and a senior member of the council. During his interview, the Foreign Minister also spoke of his country’ availability to solve regional issues through dialogue and diplomacy. An example he used to illustrate this was the US-Iran nuclear deal, often referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The JCPOA was the single most significant achievement for US policy in our region, for many years, and its restoration will, I think, be a very fitting sequel to that achievement, as well as a great promise of what may yet come,” said Badr Al Busaidi.
“We are always ready to assist in any way possible,” he added. “We enjoy a very good relationship with Iran, and we obviously enjoy a very good relationship with the United States. But that being said, I believe the channels are open directly between the foreign policy teams in Washington and Iran, and I see no reason why they cannot be reactivated.”
“Some of the members of that team were involved indeed in the JCPOA negotiations in the first place,” he went on to say. “Our offices are ready to assist in any way, but there is already I think availability of direct contact, should both countries choose to take that route.”
Countries need to cooperate with each other and work in togetherness if the world is to quickly repair the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Busaidi stressed, particularly in helping return peoples’ lives to normal.