Following closing of the ballots on November 3 for the US presidential elections, Americans in Oman and Omanis, too, who have been following the US elections keenly, anxiously await the final results. Irrespective of who wins, they hope to see more engagement in Oman as there is always room for more growth in the relations between the two countries.
The final results will decide whether Republican Donald Trump remains in the White House for another four years or his challenger Democrat Joe Biden, best known as Barack Obama’s vice-president, will be its next occupant. Biden has been in US politics since the 1970s.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Richard Lewis Baltimore III, former United States Ambassador to Oman, who has been residing in Muscat for the last 18 years, said, “Whoever wins, I hope he heals the divided nation. As for relations, Oman has been a good friend to US and whoever wins this presidential election, we hope to see our relations at its best.”
US presidents are not decided by the national vote, but by winning enough states. The winner in each state takes a certain number of ‘electoral votes’ based roughly on the size of its population. To win the White House, 270 electoral votes are needed.
Rebecca Olson, executive director at Oman American Business Center (American Chamber of Commerce in Oman), said, “It seems we may have to wait a while for the final results. No matter who wins, we trust that Oman and the US will grow and maintain their strong bilateral relationship.”
She added, “The FTA between the US and Oman, which spurs investment and trade in goods and services has benefited both nations for over ten years, and there is always room for more growth. We are looking forward to working with the elected
administration to continue the work of promoting commercial development between the US and the sultanate. Now, to find out who it is!” Many Omanis too are following the US elections keenly. “A win by Trump is a chance for him to engage more in the Gulf region. Biden is likely to win. However for me, there would be not much difference between the two. Trump is good with the economy and Biden is stable in his policies. But whoever wins, we hope he doesn’t push Oman to go deep into the Oman-Israeli relations. Oman does not need to be pressurised into anything,” said media personality Khalfan al Tauqi, who is following US elections closely.
Tauqi, who also invests in US stock market, said, “For a small time investor in the US stock market, I think Trump is good. He is a real businessman and the economy was moving well under him.”
The US and Oman share a strong and dynamic relationship which has grown over the years.