Work in progress at the site of Pakistan China Silk Road in Haripur, Pakistan. Projects under the “Belt and Road Initiative” involve several countries, including Oman. Image Credit: AP

Muscat: State Counsellor and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his delegation concluded their official visit to Oman yesterday after a successful series of high-level meetings with several ministers in which the Sultanate pledged support to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

BRI is a strategy initiated by China that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

Oman and China affirmed their support for promoting investment and tourism exchange between the two friendly countries within the framework of the BRI. The two sides also welcomed the joint agreement for a mutual exemption of entry visas between the citizens of Oman and China.

Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi along with Wang Yi, unveiled a proposed monument to the Chinese navigator Cheng He, which will be erected in the city of Salalah in commemoration of the visit of Cheng He to Oman 600 years ago.

Wang Yi is on a six-country tour of the Middle East that will see him pay official visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, UAE and Bahrain, too. The Diplomat reported that all six countries Wang will visit have signed on to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, along with Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, and Yemen.