UK and Oman enter ‘new era of cooperation’

Britain and Oman have moved to cement ties and underline the importance of the two countries’ friendship with the signing of a new Comprehensive Agreement.

His Excellency Yousef bin Alawi, Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs, and UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt met at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss bilateral relations. The pair also used the meeting to sign the UK-Oman Comprehensive Agreement which demonstrates the two countries’ shared commitment to working together in a number of sectors including science, health, technology and innovation.

In February the UK and Oman signed the historic Joint Defence Agreement, an arrangement designed to increase defence co-operation and promote stability in the region. Armed forces from both countries took part in Exercise Saif Sareea 3 last autumn, with 5,500 troops travelling to Oman to display their land, air and sea capabilities.

A joint statement released by both ministers following last week’s meeting in London said: “When we met in March, we signed the Joint Declaration on Enduring Friendship which signalled both our countries intent to strengthen and deepen an already historic relationship. For decades, His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos and British Prime Ministers have been at the forefront in ensuring that our close friendship has been maintained in the spirit of the 1800 ‘Unshook’ treaty, ably supported by H.E. Yousef bin Alawi, H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad and British Foreign Secretaries who have all supported this commitment throughout the decades, to the present day.

“Today, we are honoured to have signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Enduring Friendship in the same spirit. This agreement, in addition to the Joint Defence Agreement signed on February 21, 2019 is a firm demonstration of our commitment to take our centuries-old relationship into a new era of cooperation, sharing expertise and experiences which will benefit generations to come, including in people to people links, technology, science, education, health, culture, innovation, prosperity and growth, and fisheries and agriculture.

“The friendship between the UK and Oman is deep, historic and enduring. This is particularly important in light of current regional tensions, and we are speaking to both Iran and the US to ensure that there is no further escalation, which would be in no one’s interests. In that regard, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual importance and shared values including dialogue on our cooperation to bring peace to Yemen.”

Main image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office; © Crown copyright.