Oman, India sign MoUs to boost strategic relations

The Sultanate signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on Sunday with India to consolidate the strategic relations between the two countries, within the framework of the visit of Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, to the Sultanate.

The MoUs have been signed to enhance the Omani-Indian historic relations, which are growing.

The first agreement represented the mutual exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic, official, private and service passports.

It was signed on behalf of the Sultanate’s government by Sheikh Hilal bin Marhoon Al Ma’amari, Head of the West Asia Department at the Foreign Ministry while it was signed on behalf of the Indian government by Indra Mani Pandey, India’s Ambassador to the Sultanate.

The third MoU was signed between the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Ministry of Defence on the provision of facilities for the visit of the Indian military vessels to Duqm Port in terms of services and the use of the dry-dock for maintenance. It was signed on behalf of the Government of the Sultanate by Mohammed bin Nasser Al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence while it was signed from the Indian side by the India’s ambassador.

The fourth MoU was signed between the National Defence College (NDC) and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in India. It was signed on behalf of the Government of the Sultanate by Maj. Gen Salim bin Musallam Qatan, NDC Commandant while it was signed from the Indian side by Indra Mani Pandey.

Additionally, the two sides signed an agreement on legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial affairs.

It was signed on behalf of the Sultanate’s Government by Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry while it was signed from the Indian side by Indra Mani Pandey.

The two sides signed an MoU in the field of health. It was signed on behalf of the Sultanate’s government by Dr. Ali bin Talib Al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning Affairs while it was signed from the Indian side by Indra Mani Pandey.

Further, the two sides signed MoU in the field of tourism. It was signed on behalf of the Sultanate’s government by Sheikh Hilal bin Marhoon Al Ma’amari, Head of the West Asia Department at the Foreign Ministry while it was signed on behalf of the Indian government by Indra Mani Pandey.

The two sides also signed MoU in the field of peaceful use of space. It was signed on behalf of the government of the Sultanate by Eng. Salim bin Abdullah Al Nu’aimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Transport Affairs while it was signed from the Indian side by India’s ambassador.

During the signing ceremony of the MoUs that took place at the Foreign Ministry, the Sultanate’s initial accession to the International Solar Alliance was announced. It is based in the Republic of India.

Mohammed bin Nasser Al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence pointed out that there are many areas of cooperation with the Indian side, whether in the field of joint exercises or trainings or courses, as well as exchange of experiences between the two sides and some defence purchases and projects.

He added that the MoU signed with the Indian Ministry of Defence is an addition to the ways of developing military cooperation to serve the common interests of the two countries.

Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that Indian investments in the Sultanate are witnessing a continuous increase in various economic, service, industrial and tourism sectors. He pointed out that the agreement on legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters signed between the governments of the Sultanate and India would increase cooperation in this regard between the two countries.

Eng. Salem bin Abdullah Al Nu’aimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Transport Affairs, said that the MoU in the field of peaceful use of space provides for cooperation in the fields of satellites used in navigation systems, space sciences and exploration, sharing experiences between the two countries and exchanging visits of specialists in this field, in addition to exchange of scientific experiment results, joint organisation of courses, conferences, meetings and symposia and the promotion of cooperation in exploration and utilisation of outer space between the government, the private sector and the academic institutions of both countries.

Indra Mani Pandey said that signing of these MoUs, which cover many fields and sectors, will promote cooperation between the two countries. He hoped that the bilateral cooperation between the two sides would expand through these MoUs to a wider and more advanced level.

He praised the Omani-Indian deep relations, saying: “These relations are strategic partnership relations”. He pointed out that there is a close cooperation between the Ministries of Defence and security agencies in both countries, in addition to other areas, such as health, tourism, information technology and other fields.

The Indian ambassador to the Sultanate said that the Indian companies have a strong and effective presence in the Omani economy and have significant investments in the Omani zones and ports in Sohar and Salalah.

He added that there is an Indian investment estimated at USD 1.8 billion in two projects in Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD). On the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, he said that the volume of trade exchange during this year is expected to reach $5.5 billion through increasing trade partnership between the two countries.


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