Sultanate supports efforts to ease tension in region

Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, said that Oman supports all efforts made by Shaikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, to ease tension in the Gulf and help overcome political differences, and achieve stability, security and prosperity for all. He also congratulated Kuwait on winning a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for a two-year term starting in January 2018, stressing that “it is an achievement for both GCC countries and the Islamic world.

Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah al Khaled al Hamad al Sabah on Wednesday reaffirmed that the Kuwaiti-Omani relations are deep-rooted and distinguished in all fields.
Speaking on Thursday during the inauguration of the eighth session of the Kuwait-Oman Joint Higher Committee, the minister said the meeting followed the historic visit by Emir Shaikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah to Muscat in February.
The warm official and popular reception of the Emir and his accompanying delegation reflected sincere friendship between the two nations, Shaikh Sabah al Khaled said. Both countries resolved to work together as they shared identical views on international and regional issues, he stated.
The minister expressed satisfaction over the efforts to cement and bolster bilateral relations in economic, development and social domains.
Shaikh Sabah al Khaled said both countries are on the threshold of a new phase of fruitful cooperation, after Kuwait Petroleum International and the Oman Oil Company signed a partnership agreement for cooperation in the development of Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Shaikh Sabah al Khaled voiced pride over the agreement, which is expected to play a key role for achieving aspired investment, strategic and economic cooperation.
The total cost of refinery is estimated at $6-7 billion and it will create up to 800 jobs, he said, welcoming Oman’s call for promoting investment opportunities available in the Sultanate.
The minister also welcomed the call directed to Kuwait’s private sector for establishing investment partnerships with the Omani government to carry out development projects.
Trade exchange between the two countries reached $360 million in 2016 compared with $280 million the previous year, an increase of 20 per cent.
Kuwait’s exports to Oman in 2016 hit $145 million, compared with $85 million in 2015, an increase of 40 per cent. Imports from the Sultanate reached $215 million in 2016 compared with $197 million in 2015, a rise of seven per cent, the minister said.
The volume of joint investments reached $545 million in 2015 in education, health, transport, construction, services, tourism, agriculture, gas, industry and others. A total of 557 Kuwaiti companies are operating in Oman.
He voiced his satisfaction over achievements made by the joint committee, revealing that two memoranda of understanding were signed on crafts industries and an executive programme on educational cooperation.
The two will be added to other MoUs aimed to cement and boost bilateral relations, he said.

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