His Majesty Sultan Qaboos received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Bait Al Barakah on Sunday, who arrived in the Sultanate for a two-day visit. During the meeting, several aspects of the existing cooperation between the two countries and means of promoting the good relations between them were discussed. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Oil and Gas, the Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, Minister of Manpower, Inspector-General of Police and Customs, the Sultanate’s Ambassador to the Republic of India and the official delegation accompanying the PM.
Earlier, PM Modi was received by His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmood al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, upon his arrival at the Muscat airport. The Sultanate signed eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with India to consolidate the joint work on strategic relations as part of PM Modi’s visit, which began on Sunday. The MoUs, signed by Oman officials and Indra Mani Pandey, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate, covered visa exemption for diplomats, services of Duqm Port and dry-dock for maintenance for Indian military vessels, legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, tie-up between Oman’s National Defence College (NDC) and Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), health, tourism, peaceful use of space and Oman’s accession to India-based International Solar Alliances.
Mohammed bin Nasser al Rasbi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence, said there are many areas of cooperation with the Indian side, whether in the field of joint exercises, training or courses, as well as exchange of experiences between the two sides and some defence purchases and projects. Ambassador Pandey said that signing these MoUs will promote cooperation between the two friendly countries. He said that the Indian companies have a strong presence in Oman and have significant investments in the Omani free zones and ports in Suhar and Salalah. He said Indian investments are estimated at $1.8 billion in two projects in Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD). The volume of trade exchange during this year is expected to reach $5.5 billion. — ONA