New ambassador moves to strengthen UK-Oman ties

Mr Hamish Cowell CMG, Her Majesty's ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, and Maggie Jeans OBE, co-ordinator of the British Business Forum.

As the UK looks to bolster its relationship with the Sultanate of Oman, new British ambassador Mr Hamish Cowell CMG is set to play a key role in forging new alliances and cementing already close friendships in the region.

Mr Cowell arrived in Oman with his family at the end of August, taking over the role as ambassador from Jonathan Wilks. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1987 and most recently served as Britain's ambassador in Tunisia between 2013 and 2016.

One of Mr Cowell's first duties was to meet His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood AlBusaidi, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to present copies of his credentials. Since taking up the post he has also been received by His Highness Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq al Said, deputy prime minister for international relations and cooperation affairs and personal representative of His Majesty the Sultan.

Other engagements over recent weeks have seen Mr Cowell host the ambassador of the Netherlands and meet senior representatives from British multinationals BP and Babcock International.

The UK and the Sultanate of Oman have longstanding ties, a point highlighted by Britain's defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon last month when he signed a new agreement allowing the Royal Navy use of facilities at Oman's Duqm Port.

Speaking during the two-day visit, Mr Fallon said: "Oman is a longstanding British ally and we work closely across diplomatic, economic and security matters. Our commitment to the Duqm Port project highlights the strength of our relationship."