Muscat: The Foreign Minister of Oman Sayyid Badr Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi held a virtual meeting with his Indian counterpart, Dr. S Jaishankar, Indian’s External Affairs Minister recently.
The ministers had extensive discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. Al Busaidi later tweeted, “Very glad to have a productive call today with my friend @DrSJaishankar to follow up on our excellent and growing bilateral relations. We also discussed bilateral and global health cooperation, food security, regional and international issues.”
Dr. Jaishankar and Sayyid Badr agreed to work in close cooperation to address the ongoing challenges due to the prevailing pandemic. Both sides emphasised their keenness to develop bilateral cooperation further in various areas including cooperation in healthcare, combating COVID-19, and global cooperation in securing and distributing vaccine.
They expressed the importance attached by both the parties to regional security and stability, resolving all disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, while supporting efforts to reduce tension, bring understanding, peace and harmony.
Ahead of the dialogue and in what is being noted as an important initiative by many in Indian and Omani media, Al Busaidi on November 29 issued a key decision to establish Oman-India Friendship Association.
The aim of the association to provide a platform that promotes friendship and understanding matters of mutual interest between Oman and Indian business and social communities present in the Sultanate. Dr Jaishankar during the virtual meet, appreciated the gesture of Oman in establishing Oman-India Friendship Association.
Oman Government’s amnesty gesture of exempting those residents leaving Oman for good before end of the year from any fine on visa or resident permits has been hailed by many. Indian Embassy through its network of social workers and in close coordination with Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been fast-tracking the process of issuing travel permits and necessary documents to Indian citizens. Indians constitute the majority of the expatriates residing in Oman along with Bangladeshi citizens.