A CONFIDENT MARCH

MUSCAT: The Sultanate today marks the 48th anniversary of the launch of the modern Omani Renaissance under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. Omani citizens have managed to contribute in achieving the development aims of this country and interact with the developments around them. This glorious date marks a new dawn under the leadership of His Majesty the Sultan. It marks the beginning of a new stage of development and growth at which a modern nation was built. This nation is capable of reviving the glory of Oman and its cultural role in the region and the world. The nation is also based on citizenship principle, equality, rule of law and keeping pace with modern age.

Since the first day of his rule, His Majesty the Sultan has been very keen on making the Omani man, the maker of this development and its objectives. To this end, His Majesty has done his best to build the Omani citizen and develop his capacity to carry out his noble national tasks. His Majesty has shown trust in the Omani man and considered him the most precious asset of this nation. Throughout the past 48 years, the Omani man has been the aim and centre of development plans and programmes. His Majesty’s dedication and strong will coupled with loyalty, love and sincere efforts of his subjects have resulted in all round development.

Out of His Majesty’s keenness to promote the national capacities of the state’s institutions, the Joint Effort 10 Exercise was carried out in March 2018 with the participation of military, security and civil institutions of the state in preparation for the national exercise Al Shomoukh-2 in October to be followed by Omani-British military exercise “Swift Sword-3.” On the other hand, the light munition and weapons factory, the first-of-its-kind in the Sultanate, was also opened in the Wilayat of Samayil in May.
While presiding over the Council of Ministers meeting in February, His Majesty the Sultan expressed his satisfaction and appreciation for the continuous efforts exerted by the government, noting that these efforts helped in achieving the comprehensive development which caters to both economic and social dimensions and safeguards the level of basic services rendered to citizens, besides channelling investments to economic diversification projects.
His Majesty hailed the cooperation extended by citizens in making development plans and programmes a success.
In a bid to extend social care and alleviate the burden on citizens, the fuel subsidy system was implemented early this year for those whose income is not more than RO 600 as per the guiltiness set by the Council of Ministers in 2017.
In June 2018, the Council of Ministers decided to expand the beneficiaries by raising the cap to RO 950 with effect from August 1, 2018.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Manpower in cooperation with the private sector companies managed to provide 33,230 job opportunities for Omani job-seekers in private sector establishments from December 3, 2017 to July 11, 2018; 32 per cent more than the targeted 25,000 jobs.
The National Economic Diversification Programme (Tanfeedh) is one of the national programmes aimed at achieving the Sultanate’s vision towards economic diversification.
The Implementation and Follow Up Unit published its annual report for 2017 and highlighted the progress made in implementing the projects in various sectors.
On the other hand, the commercial operations of Muscat International Airport began on March 20. The airport is one of the major achievements of the modern Renaissance.
The airport will give momentum to tourism sector and will enhance the growth of the national economy in general and the logistics sector in particular.
The new airport can handle 12 million passengers per year.
Since the dawn of the blessed Renaissance, His Majesty the Sultan has given priority to involving the Omani citizen in the development process and decision making.
His Majesty has been keen on providing Oman with a unique shura experience and democratic practice that ensure citizen involvement in decision making.
The policy has achieved many good results during the past years and enhanced the march of development. It also played a role in establishing the state institutions and rule of law.
In this connection, the Council of Ministers, the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura hold regular joint meetings. The meeting highlighted the importance of dialogue and the need to agree on views which help in implementing development plans and programmes.
The State Council and Majlis Ash’shura held joint sessions during June and July to discuss the articles of difference about the draft mining law and the draft water wealth law.
His Majesty the Sultan always affirmed that the achievements made during the blessed Renaissance march would not have become a reality without the continuous effort and strong will that forecast future.
While the comprehensive development process enters its 49th year with confidence, it is looking forward for a better future.
Oman expresses utmost loyalty and gratitude to His Majesty and appeal to Allah to safeguard His Majesty and grant him good health, happiness and long life.
As for the foreign policy of the Sultanate is concerned, His Majesty’s vision has been characterised by wisdom, farsightedness, frankness and credibility.
This vision made Oman an oasis for security, safety and stability. It also earned the Sultanate respect of everyone, especially the Sultanate spared no efforts to bring wars to an end, bridge differences and ensure proper environment for restoring peace, security and stability in the Gulf and Arab regions.
Since his accession to the throne in 1970, His Majesty has adopted a crystal clear policy based on right, peace, cooperation, tolerance, friendship, cooperation among nations and states and good neighbourly principles.
It is also based on adoption of dialogue as a means of solving disputes, peacefully to achieve mutual and common interests within the tenets of international law and legitimacy.
The Sultanate continues its good efforts to enhance understanding and dialogue among states to solve all regional and Gulf issues as this will ensure continuing the development processes in a more secure and stable environment.
The policy has earned the Sultanate good reputation in recognition of its positive role in enhancing communication among countries of the world.
It also made the Sultanate an important partner in the good efforts made to achieve the interests of the peoples of the region and the world.
On May 25, His Majesty the Sultan and the Chinese President Xi Jinping decided to set up strategic relation between the Sultanate and the People’s Republic of China to achieve the joint and mutual interests of the two countries.
Omanis are receiving utmost respect and esteem everywhere in the world — thanks to the Sultanate’s wise policies. The Sultanate enjoys the trust and confidence of all disputing parties and call for dialogue to sort out differences through peaceful means. It should be noted as well that the development of the Sultan’s Armed Forces has been one of the priorities of the blessed Renaissance march.
Emanating from His Majesty’s strategic thinking and deep military experience, His Majesty has realised that achieving security, stability and security is a requirement and a priority for nation building and achieving prosperity. — ONA