Amir of Kuwait and Sultan of Oman boost ties in Muscat talks

Visit expected to mark bilateral milestone

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His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Sultan of Oman

MUSCAT, Feb 6, (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq exchanged medals at Al-Alam Palace in the Omani capital Muscat. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq decorated His Highness the Amir with (Al-Saeed) Medal in recognition and appreciation for His Highness, while His Highness the Amir gifted Sultan Haitham (Mubarak Al-Kabir) Medal in appreciation of His Majesty and the distinguished achievements and efforts he has made for the Sultanate of Oman and its people.

Earlier, Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq held a banquet in honor of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his accompanying delegation on the occasion of the state visit. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah was treated to an official reception at Oman’s royal palace on Tuesday, marking his state visit to the Gulf Arab Sultanate. As His Highness the Amir’s official convoy pulled up, he was warmly greeted by Oman’s Royal Camel Corps, a customary gesture to welcome a visiting head of state, while the traditional 21-gun salute sounded to usher in the visit. His Highness the Amir went on to shake hands with top Omani state officials before the bilateral talks got underway.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman awards His Highness the Amir the Al-Saeed Medal as a gesture of recognition and appreciation

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and the Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tareq held a session of official talks at Al-Alam Palace in Muscat. During the talks, the deep-rooted ties between the two countries were touched on as well as boosting bilateral relations in various fields. The discussions also dealt with ways of expanding frameworks to support and enhance the progress of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the most prominent issues of common interest, and the discussion of some matters in light of the latest events and developments taking place in the regional and international arenas. The talks were attended by the official delegation accompanying His Highness the Amir. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah arrived, along with official accompanying delegation in Omani capital of Muscat on state visit. A fleet of Omani military jets accompanied His Highness the Amir’s plane over the Omani airspace. Receiving His Highness the Amir at the airport was Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tareq.

The Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Shihab bin Tareq, Minister of Diwan of Royal Court Khaled Al-Busaidi, Minister of Royal Office Lieutenant General Sultan Al-Numani, Interior Minister Humoud Al- Busaidi, Foreign Minister Bader Al-Busaidi, Omani Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Saleh Al-Kharousi and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Oman Dr. Mohammad Al-Hajri, were also at the airport receiving His Highness the Amir. Accompanying His Highness the Amir are Sheikh Mohammad Abdulaziz Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Sheikh Hamad Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Athbi Nasser Al-Athbi Al- Sabah, Sheikh Ali Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Mansour Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Humoud Al-Malek Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Dr. Imad Al-Atiqi, and senior officials at the Amiri Diwan.

The Sultanate of Oman is looking forward to the state visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, which would further bolster ties, said Omani Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Saleh Al-Kharusi earlier on Tuesday. In a statement to KUNA, Dr. Al-Kharusi indicated that the visit, which would include a summit meeting with Sultan Haitham bin Tareq, was of high significance for both countries especially when one considered it going to take place a few months after His Highness the Amir assumed his post on December 16. Since modern Oman was established in 1970 under the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the leaders of the two brotherly nations exchanged frequent visits to boost ties on all possible levels, indicated the Ambassador, noting that the current visit of His Highness Sheikh Mishal was part of such great legacy. The ambassador affirmed that bilateral ties was witnessing a new phase with the launch of Al-Duqm refinery, which began actual production in recent months with a capacity of 230,000 barrels per day. He added that investment in the project, which also included a petrochemical complex, amounted to USD nine billion, making it one of the most importance ventures amongst GCC countries. Dr. Al-Kharusi noted that Al-Duqm area itself was one of the most important economic zones in the region at an area of 1,200 square kilometers with a strategic location on the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The ambassador also said that the two countries were eager to boost ties on all possible domains, commending in this regard, the recent outcome of the ninth session of the Omani- Kuwaiti joint committee meeting, which was held in Muscat last March.

Meanwhile, a number of Omani journalists agreed that His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s impending visit to the Gulf Arab Sultanate would mark a watershed moment in bilateral relations, expecting the event to propel these ties to greater levels. In separate remarks to KUNA, the journalists pointed out that while ties have long been marked by their solidity and breadth, there remains more room for progress across various significant realms, which run the gamut from political and economic cooperation to tourism and social development. On His Highness the Amir’s visit, Oman daily’s chief editor Essam Al-Shaidi said the arrival of His Highness the Amir in the Omani capital Muscat is tantamount to the start of a “new era” in bilateral relations, describing ties as the “paradigm” of intra-Arab relations. As he chronicled the history of relations between the two Gulf Arab countries, he praised the “harmony and unity” among the two nations, pointing out that His Highness the Amir’s visit would coincide with the opening of the Gulf Arab Sultanate’s Duqm refinery, which he said would be instrumental in further bolstering economic development.

Addressing bilateral relations, the chief editor of Oman’s Al-Masar newspaper Ali Al-Ajmi said the two countries are bound by common “history, vernacular and blood,” saying Omanis have always shared amicable relations with their Kuwaiti neighbors. Under the respective leadership of His Highness the Amir and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, he prognosticated more development in bilateral ties particularly after the opening of the Duqm refinery, a joint venture between Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International, which is estimated to lure up to USD 8.5 billion worth of investment, he underlined. Echoing their sentiments, Omani podcast host Bader Al- Shaibani said His Highness the Amir’s visit typifies the camaraderie shared between the two countries, which continues to “grow deeper” by every passing day, he emphasized. He went on to praise the two countries’ “joint stance” on the Middle East conflict as evidenced by their unwavering support for the Palestinians and their determination to protect them from the “brutal Israeli crimes,” he said. Omani journalist Majid Al-Hatali believes that economic ties between the Gulf Arab neighbors have seen the most growth, citing robust trade relations that have seen Kuwaiti investments in Muscat exceed 922 million Omani riyals in the third quarter last year, he said.

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