Muscat: A meeting of the India-Oman Strategic Consultative Group (IOSCG) was held in New Delhi on Thursday. The Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary (CPV&OIA), MEA while the Omani delegation was led by Khalifa bin Ali Al Harthy, Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Foreign Ministry. This was the first high-level official visit from Oman to India since the onset of Covid-19.
Both sides expressed satisfaction that despite the Covid-19 pandemic both sides have kept in close touch and sustained momentum in further consolidation of their strategic relationship. Secretary (CPV&OIA) thanked the Omani side for taking excellent care of the large Indian community in Oman during the pandemic.
Both sides also expressed happiness that the Air Bubble arrangement between the two countries is functioning well. The Omani side expressed appreciation that India had facilitated food and medical supplies to Oman during the pandemic. India assured assistance to Oman in its requirement for Covid-19 vaccines.
During the IOSCG both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of the India-Oman relationship including in political, energy, trade, investment, defence, security, space, mining, S&T, culture, and consular fields.
It was agreed that the two sides will pursue various agreements and MOUs in these areas for a future-oriented relationship. They looked forward to trade and investment linkages regaining momentum once normalcy returns after Covid-19. They also discussed intensifying cooperation in the areas of health and food security. The two sides also exchanged views on recent regional developments as well as global issues of mutual interest.
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar also received Al Harthy and conveyed congratulations to the Omani side on the first anniversary of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. He reiterated the invitation from Prime Minister to His Majesty for a visit to India. He also looked forward to the continuous strengthening of the India-Oman strategic partnership in various fields.