The Sultanate of Oman follows a consistent regional and foreign policy that strives toward peace and averting conflicts — through which the country has earned enormous respect globally. Despite clarity of its policy, many questions have been raised about the stance Oman continues to adopt on several issues. Analysts and observers have also responded to these questions but failed completely to correspond with Oman’s nature of non-interference in the affairs of others.
For this reason, all prognoses raised by analysts and observers were dismantled after the Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi produced clarifications and explanations during his interview with the Saudi newspaper “Okaz”. Regarding allegations about Iran smuggling weapons through Oman to Al-Houthi fighters, Yusuf bin Alawi’s response to the claim was clear, straightforward and decisive; enough to scatter interpretations and clear up obscurity.
The Sultanate of Oman continues to adhere to the policy of ‘not interfering with the internal affairs of others’ and the country will never abandon the policy or dip itself in any conflict; “We (Oman) have no doubts on the serenity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and there is nothing between us (Oman) and Saudi except the best of relations, as we continue to communicate on important issues at all levels”.
This position is no different from those previously held by Oman chiming with directives from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) without deviation. In fact, the Sultanate of Oman is part of the GCC despite its unique political course, which some people think disagrees with the course of action of its counterparts, although it represents diversity in the same entity. Perhaps, Oman’s prerogative dictates that it’s too early to declare a confederacy of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Even so, the statement neither causes any harm nor affects the course of the GCC negatively.
Britain submitted to the wish of the majority of its citizens to exit the European Union, but it did not exit solid cooperation ties with the EU. Why the fuss about the position taken by a GCC country on a certain issue? It seems that the entities are obliged to merge themselves to the point of erasing the characteristics of each State, and ignoring the fact that diversity in opinion is the reason for successes of the GCC since its inception.
As the former Egyptian President — late Anwar Saddat, visited Israel In 1977, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia refused to cut relationships with Egypt, and the decision had no effect on the stances taken by other countries. The countries in question came back later to support the Omani-Saudi position, while the headquarters of the Arab League was restored in Cairo.
Indeed, questions raised on the Omani policy in the region were huge but the decisive word came from the concerned minister who dissolved and scattered any obscurity in that regard. Furthermore, the minister’s response reassured stability of the Sultanate of Oman, “so there is no need to worry about the ongoing change or panic regarding the course of the country’s rule”.
This is all we need to hear from the pillar of Omani administration since we all look upon Sultan Qaboos as the maker of progress, stability and peace. Thank you Yusuf bin Alawi for dissolving the obscurity. We wish Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed, the Sultanate of Oman and its people the best.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor in-Chief, the Arab Times