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Pandemic fallout: South Africa closes mission in Oman

30 Jun 2021

The South African Embassy in Muscat has announced its closure from June 30. 

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Tania Canelas, chargé d’affaires, said, “The South African Embassy in Muscat and South African authorities deeply regret the closure of its mission in Oman.

“The only factor driving us to close our embassy in Oman is the exasperating financial constraints as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing.

“The financial situation necessitated that South Africa reduce its diplomatic footprint and reduce residential embassies.” 

Twelve missions are being closed around the world. 

According to Tania, South Africa intents to continue strengthening diplomatic, political and economic ties with Oman through its embassy in Riyadh.

All consular, civil and visa services will be administered through the South African Embassy in Riyadh and the South African government presence in Oman will be managed through a non-residential format.

“The South African government lays great importance to its relationship with the government and people of Oman, and we intend to continue fostering the relationship that has existed between us since the two countries opened diplomatic missions in respective countries,” Tania said. 

The Oman-South Africa Friendship Association (OSAFA) will continue to work under the umbrella of the embassy in Riyadh.

The non-resident ambassador will approach Omani authorities at the relevant time and present his credentials for which the process is currently underway. 

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in October 1995, and South Africa opened its embassy in Muscat in 2002, while the sultanate opened its embassy in Pretoria in 2003.

 

Text and photo by Syed Fasiuddin

 

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