India, Oman to sign agreement on maritime transport
An agreement on cooperation in maritime transport will be signed during external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Oman on December 24.
Jaishankar will travel to Oman after a visit to Tehran during December 22-23 to co-chair the 19th Joint Commission Meeting with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif. Jaishankar is also expected to call on President Hassan Rouhani.
While in Oman, Jaishankar will meet his counterpart Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah and other ministers to discuss matters of mutual interest. He will also interact with the Indian community in Muscat.
Oman is a strategic partner of India and the two sides enjoy warm and cordial relations attributed to historical maritime trade linkages and the close links of Oman’s royal family with India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Oman in February 2018 helped further consolidate these ties.
India is among Oman’s top trading partners. During 2018-19, bilateral trade was worth $5 billion. In 2018, India was the second largest importer of crude oil from Oman, and there are more than 780,000 Indian citizens in the sultanate, the second largest expatriate community.
This will be Jaishankar’s first visit to Oman after the new government in New Delhi took over in May. “The visit is in pursuit of India’s objective of enhanced engagement with the Gulf region which is in India’s extended neighbourhood,” the external affairs ministry said.