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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia step up economic partnership

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MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday issued a joint communique reading as follows:


“Based on the deep-rooted ties of history and fraternity between the leaderships of the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their peoples, in consolidation of their steadfast bilateral relations and in response to the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, made a visit to the Sultanate of Oman on 6 and 7 December 2021.


A round of official talks was held by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They explored aspects of joint cooperation and ways of developing it in different fields and commended the level of coordination in political, economic, military and security spheres for the good of the two peoples.


The two sides also lauded the accomplishments made during the historic visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to Saudi Arabia in July 2021. They underlined the outcome of the Royal visit, which resulted in expanding the scope of bilateral relations and the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the Omani Saudi Coordination Council, which will contribute to the realisation of the desired integration in all sectors.


The two sides expressed their determination to augment the rate of economic cooperation through the motivation of the government and private sectors with the aim of forging quality commercial and investment exchange to serve their visions (Oman Vision 2040 and Saudi Vision 2030) and consolidate partnership between the two countries’ private sectors.


In this respect, the two sides welcomed the opening of the 725-km Desert Highway linking the two countries and expected to significantly boost the travel of citizens and the smooth flow of supplies towards the desired full-fledged economic integration. They also welcomed the opening of border checkpoints in the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia.


IN THE FIELD OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE


In the field of energy, the two sides extolled Opec+ efforts—led by KSA, with the participation of the Sultanate of Oman—that resulted in stabilising petroleum markets. They also underscored the importance of such sustained cooperation and the commitment of all participating countries to the mandates of the Opec+ agreement.


The two sides stressed the need to study all opportunities for cooperation in the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector, as well as cooperation in advancing petroleum products trade, the use of renewable energy and its technologies, electrical energy, commercial exchange and maximising benefits from local energy content for implementing power projects.


The Omani side valued the initiatives made by Saudi Arabia to address climate change, including Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiative and Green Middle East launched by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They agreed to step up cooperation in the field of energy and climate change within the framework of Green Middle East to enhance gains at local, regional and international levels.


The two sides also welcomed an initiative to implement Circular Carbon Economy, launched by KSA when chairing the G20 Summit. The initiative was hailed by the economic group as an integrate and comprehensive framework to address challenges posed by gas emissions responsible for global warming. The initiative, based on the use of available technologies, constitutes an economically sustainable method to manage gas emissions.


COOPERATION IN THE COMMERCIAL FIELD


The two sides agreed to increase incentives that contribute to the easy flow of trade, cooperation in food security, joint investment in sectors of standardisation, health, medical drug production, advanced technologies, innovation, renewable energy, industry, tourism, petrochemicals, converting industries, logistics and financial technology.


To this effect, two agreements were signed in the field of standardisation.


The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of the third meeting of the Saudi Omani Business Council and the Economic Forum held on the sidelines of the meeting.


A group of leading Omani and Saudi firms signed a number of agreements. MoUs were signed by OQ and Aramco, OQ and Sabic Petrochemicals, Asyad and a Saudi shipping company, OQ and ACWA Power, Oman Mining Company and its Saudi counterpart and Muscat Stock Exchange and Tadawul stock exchange.


IN THE MEDIA FIELD


The two sides affirmed their keenness to upgrade the level of cooperation and welcomed the signing of an MoU in the field of Radio and TV, an MoU on the exchange of news between Oman News Agency and Saudi Press Agency and an MoU in the field of visual, audio and print media.


The two sides also welcomed the meeting held by Oman Journalist Association and Saudi Press Association.


IN THE FIELD OF TOURISM


The two sides reiterated their determination to bolster joint action in the field of tourism and the development of the sector due to its significance in augmenting domestic product, creating employment opportunities and diversifying the economy.


In the political arena, the two sides reaffirmed the fundamentals of Al Ula Declaration issued on 5 January 2021, which approved the implementation of the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques endorsed by the GCC Supreme Council during its 36th session in December 2015.


All departments of the Council were tasked with doubling efforts towards the finalisation of the remaining steps within a specific schedule. This includes complementing pillars of the economic unity within the framework of the GCC’s joint defence and security schemas, in addition to the formulation of a unified GCC foreign policy aimed to safeguard the interests and gains of the GCC, spare it any involvement in regional and international conflicts and meet its peoples’ aspirations for prosperity.


ON REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES


The two sides exchanged views about matters of common concern in the regional and international arenas. They affirmed their determination to work together to serve the joint interests and consolidate security and stability in the region and the world at large. They also voiced their support for all efforts aimed at the establishment of peace in the Middle East.


They underlined the importance of reaching a comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and related international legitimacy resolutions in a manner that safeguards the right of Palestinian people to set up their own independent state on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


About Yemeni affairs, the two sides agreed to continue efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis based on the GCC initiative, the outcomes of the National Comprehensive Dialogue, the Security Council Resolution and the Saudi Arabian Initiative—all with the overall aim of alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people.


The two sides also welcomed the success of the elections in Iraq and expressed their hopes for the formation of an Iraqi government capable of establishing peace and security and realising the country’s prosperity.


The two sides welcomed the accord reached by parties to the Transitional Stage in Sudan and reaffirmed their support for all that might achieve security and stability in Sudan. They wished Sudanese people progress and prosperity.


About the situation in Lebanon, the two sides affirmed the importance of conducting comprehensive reforms to help Lebanon emerge from its crisis and to make sure that it will not constitute a hotspot for any terrorist or criminal acts that might compromise the stability of the region.


The two sides affirmed the significance of reaching political solutions for the Syrian and Libyan crises to help end the suffering of the Syrian and Libyan peoples and safeguard their territorial integrity.


The two sides expressed the importance of consolidating security and stability in Afghanistan. They warned against harbouring terrorists or extremists or any acts of recruitment of Afghan refugees in areas of conflict. They also voiced their support for relief efforts and humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. In this context, the Omani side valued KSA’s call for an extraordinary meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 19 December 2021.


The two sides also underscored the significance of cooperation in terminally and effectively addressing the Iranian nuclear file, its components and its repercussions to help contribute to the establishment of regional and international security and stability. In this context, they affirmed their support for principles of good neighbourliness, respect for UN and international resolutions and the need to spared the region all destabilisation activities.


At the end of the visit, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman thanked His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.


On his turn, His Majesty the Sultan expressed his best wishes for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud. He wished Saudi people further progress and prosperity.”


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