In his first public remarks immediately after ascending to the throne, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik promised that he would continue adhering to the foreign policy principles that the Sultanate has embraced since 1970.
Oman has always remained as a facilitator of peace under a 49-year-old long reign of late Sultan Qaboos. Oman’s stable and consistent foreign relations, based on the principles of neutrality, non-interference and mediation have made the country different from many other global and regional powers.
This was evident in the message when His Majesty Sultan Haitham affirmed, “We will follow the same line as the late Sultan, and the principles that he asserted for the foreign policy of our country, of peaceful coexistence among nations and people, and good neighbourly behaviour of non-interference in the affairs of others.”
The continuation of the policy was further emphasised by Oman’s new Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidy during his speech at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 30.
“His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik has reaffirmed categorically that the Sultanate will follow the wise policy developed by late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the builder of modern Oman and the mastermind of its foreign policy and international relations over the past fifty years’’, the minister said.
His Majesty Sultan Haitham has extensive experience in foreign affairs, having worked as an under-secretary and secretary-general in the foreign ministry.
The firm and consistent principles upon which Omani foreign policy is based are not merely theoretical concepts. They are basic precepts that are intimately linked to the country’s history, traditions, geographical location and its relations with other countries.
Since the beginning of Oman’s glorious Renaissance era, the Sultanate set about building bridges and extending the hand of friendship, while making determined efforts to play its part in making a better life for the region and the world.
This is reflected in the way in which it has expanded its relations with other countries and in the active role it plays in Gulf, Arab and international organisations.
“The Sultanate of Oman follows the path of dialogue and encourages it. My country’s government supports the values of tolerance, collective action and peaceful coexistence with all. We believe in the principles of justice, equality, good neighbourliness, the rule of law and non-interference in the internal affairs of others’’, Sayyid Badr told the General assembly.
Oman has always been keen to fulfil all its international and regional obligations towards different organisations. It recognizes its international responsibility towards different causes that aim to serve humankind in several fields.
“We stress the peaceful settlement of disputes, based on the rules and principles of the UN Charter and international law, as an obligation that we all should honour’’, Sayyid Badr, a long-time foreign policy specialist, told the world body.
The Sultanate also plays an important role in the convergence of views among neighbouring and friend countries, and has always sought to assist belligerent states in conflict resolution. This important role has been welcomed internationally.
Since peace is indeed indivisible, and constitutes a highly important value for the Sultanate, peace has been the central topic of Omani policies at different levels, in the Gulf, regionally and internationally, without any compromise or overestimations,
“While my country supports the sovereign right of states to determine whatever they deem as fit for their national interests, our common interests make it incumbent upon us all to support peace and to participate effectively in efforts to disseminate it as a global culture by which people can progress and prosper’’, he said.
Very often the Sultanate showed its ability and courage not only to clearly and honestly express its opinions and vision towards situations and developments occurring in the Gulf, the Arab world and internationally. It has also deployed relentless efforts in implementing its policy in its relations with other states, whilst maintaining Oman’s basic principles.