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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Sultan’s visit to mark new chapter in Qatar-Oman ties: envoy


Muscat stood by Doha amid the 2017 GCC crisis.

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq’s visit to Qatar will mark a new chapter in ties between the two Gulf states, Doha’s envoy to the Sultanate said on Sunday.

Speaking to Oman’s news agency, Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the visit exhibits the strength of Doha-Muscat bilateral ties and will explore ways to enhance them to serve the aspirations of both countries.

Oman’s Sultan is scheduled to visit Qatar on Monday for the first time since coming to power in January last year following the passing of former Sultan Qaboos bin Said – the Middle East’s longest-serving ruler.

Doha will be be Sultan Haitham’s second foreign visit following his trip to Saudi Arabia in July this year.

Qatar-Oman ties

The two neighbouring countries established diplomatic ties in the 1970’s following Qatar’s independence, witnessing major growth and an increase in cooperation in various fields since then.

This was made evident during the 2017 GCC crisis, in which Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar.

However, Oman and Kuwait were the only two Gulf states that maintained diplomatic ties with Qatar throughout the crisis, which has since ended with the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration at the 41st GCC Summit on 5 January this year.

In 2018, nearly eight months following the blockade, Qatar and Oman signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of investment and trade, which was described as a  “solid relationship” between the allies.

Qatar extended a helping hand to Oman last year by donating $1 billion amid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the Oman Qatar Insurance Company [OQIC], a subsidiary of Qatar Insurance Group [QIC], donated over $270,000 [QAR 1 million] to thousands of people affected by Cyclone Shaheen in Oman.

Furthermore, there are over 300 Omani companies operating in Qatar, out of which 130 have 100% Omani capital. Similarly, there are also 170 Qatari-Omani owned companies.

Over the pas year, trade volume between Qatar and Oman has amounted to over $1,300,000,000 [QAR 5 billion Qatari riyals].

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