India, Oman hold discussions on bilateral cooperation

New Delhi: A meeting of the India-Oman Strategic Consultative Group (IOSCG) was held physically on Thursday, wherein both sides participated in bilateral discussions pertaining to many issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to an official release by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), during the IOSCG both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of the India-Oman relationship including in political, energy, trade, investment, defence, security, space, mining, S&T, culture and consular fields. It was agreed that the two sides will pursue various agreements and MOUs in these areas for a future-oriented relationship.

“They looked forward to trade and investment linkages regaining momentum once normalcy returns after Covid-19. They also discussed intensifying cooperation in the areas of health and food security. The two sides also exchanged views on recent regional developments as well as global issues of mutual interest,” MEA said.

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The Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary (CPV&OIA), MEA while the Omani delegation was led by Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali al-Harthy, Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Foreign Ministry.

India and Oman also expressed satisfaction that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, both sides have kept in close touch and sustained momentum in further consolidation of their strategic relationship. Bhattacharya thanked the Omani side for taking excellent care of the large Indian community in Oman during the pandemic.

Both sides also expressed happiness with the well-functioning of the Air Bubble arrangement between the two countries. The Omani side expressed appreciation that India had facilitated food and medical supplies to Oman during the pandemic, while India assured assistance to Oman in its requirement for Covid-19 vaccines.

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Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar also received the Omani Under-Secretary today, and he also conveyed congratulations to the Omani side on the first anniversary of the reign of Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.

Jaishankar reiterated the invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Omani Sultan for a visit to India. He also looked forward to the continuous strengthening of the India-Oman strategic partnership in various fields.

Sheikh Khalifa will be paying a visit to Sushma Swaraj Institute for Foreign Service tomorrow, MEA said. 

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