India mourns a true friend

MUSCAT: As a mark of respect, India lowered its national flag at half mast and suspended all official entertainments on Monday to honour the passing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour.  Earlier, the government announced a full-day mourning for the late Sultan Qaboos, one of Delhi’s closest partners for decades sharing special bonds in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier has hailed Sultan Qaboos as “a true friend of India” who did a lot for “a vibrant strategic partnership” between the two nations. “I will always cherish the warmth and affection I received from him,” Modi has said. Modi has also called His Majesty Sultan Qaboos “a beacon of peace for our region and the world.” India is among Oman’s top trading partners and, according to the Economic Times, bilateral trade reached $5 billion in 2018-19. Indians represent the second-largest expatriate community in Oman.