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Prince Mohammed’s visit to deepen Oman-Saudi ties

5 Dec 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

High-level bilateral engagement has intensified in the last two years

Muscat – Oman-Saudi relations are set to scale new heights ushering in a new era of wider cooperation with the visit of Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Oman on Monday.

Over the past 50 years, the two brotherly countries have built relations that are reflected in a number of areas. Since the first day of his accession to the throne, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik affirmed his determination to work in close coordination with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC) in their efforts to realise their peoples’ aspirations.

Affirming the depth of historical relations between the sultanate and Saudi Arabia, and based on the keenness of the two countries’ leaderships to enhance ties, His Majesty Sultan Haitham paid an official visit to the kingdom earlier this year. The visit was in response to an invitation from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

His Majesty the Sultan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in July culminated in the signing of a number of agreements, most notably the establishment of the Omani-Saudi Joint Coordination Council.

Over a period of two years (2020 and 2021), the sultanate and Saudi Arabia have intensified high-level bilateral engagement based on solid and enduring principles reflected in the tangible progress made between the two countries in political, economic, social, cultural and security spheres.

Prince Mohammed’s visit is evidence of these relations being continuous, open and expected to see further comprehensive growth. The two countries’ keenness on exchanging views on matters of common concern is reflected in high-level meetings between the leaders and top officials, and evident in the continuous contacts between the two.

Through the Omani-Saudi Joint Coordination Council, the two countries have started working on continuous coordination and consultation on matters and topics of common interest in all fields, strengthening, sustaining and expanding horizons of cooperation, and signing several agreements and memoranda of understanding.

Prince Mohammed’s visit will also put the spotlight on the Oman-Saudi road as well as Duqm – the potential hub for Saudi investments. Based on the directions to expedite the opening of land borders between the two countries that resulted from His Majesty the Sultan’s visit in July, plans are underway to open a road across the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) that will enable exchange of trade between Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Local manufacturers, distributors and logistics operators are eyeing a bonanza of opportunities to transport goods more affordably and speedily from as far afield as Salalah and Duqm, among other areas, to sustain the growing needs of the Gulf’s biggest economy.

The road offers scope for great commercial exchange between the two countries in several fields, including fisheries, which is much in demand in the Saudi market, while the kingdom provides the Omani market large quantities of dairy products and petrochemicals.

Besides the scope for trade, the new carriageway will provide a safer, shorter and more convenient alternative to the existing 1,640km route that motorists must navigate to reach Saudi Arabia.

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