Foreign relations of Oman

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

When Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said assumed power in 1970, Oman had limited contacts with the outside world, including neighbouring Arab states. A special treaty relationship permitted the United Kingdom close involvement in Oman's civil and military affairs. Ties with the United Kingdom have remained very close under Sultan Qaboos along with strong ties to the United States.

Since 1970, Oman has pursued a moderate foreign policy and expanded its diplomatic relations dramatically. It supported the 1979 Camp David accords and was one of three Arab League states, along with Somalia and Sudan, which did not break relations with Egypt after the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979. During the Persian Gulf crisis, Oman assisted the United Nations coalition effort. Oman has developed close ties to its neighbors; it joined the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council when it was established in 1980.

Oman has traditionally supported Middle East peace initiatives, as it did those in 1983. In April 1994, Oman hosted the plenary meeting of the Water Working Group of the peace process, the first Persian Gulf state to do so.

During the Cold War period, Oman avoided relations with communist countries because of the communist support for the insurgency in Dhofar. In recent years, Oman has undertaken diplomatic initiatives in the Central Asian republics, particularly in Kazakhstan, where it is involved in a joint oil pipeline project. In addition, Oman maintains good relations with Iran, its northern neighbor, and the two countries regularly exchange delegations. Oman is an active member in international and regional organizations, notably the Arab League and the GCC, and its foreign policy is overseen by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

International disputes

The northern boundary with the United Arab Emirates has not been bilaterally defined; the northern section in the Musandam Peninsula is an administrative boundary.

Bilateral relations


Brunei has an embassy in Muscat, and Oman has an embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan.[1] Relations have been established since March 24, 1984. Both countries are former protectorates of European powers (the British for Brunei and the Portuguese for Oman), and both are now governed by an Islamic absolute monarchy.[1][2][3]


In September 2016, Oman played an important role in securing the release of Homa Hoodfar, an Iranian-Canadian citizen and professor at Concordia University. She had been held prisoner in Iran's Evin Prison since June 6, 2016. This happened soon after a secretive meeting between Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and Oman's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. [4]


China and Oman have been expanding economic relations.[5][6][7]


Oman was the only Arab state besides Sudan under Jaafar Nimeiry to maintain good relations with Anwar al Sadat after Egypt recognized Israel. An NGO which launched a probe into foreign funding of organizations in Egypt found that Oman, along with the United Arab Emirates, donated $14.1 million to the Mohamed Alaa Mubarak institute, which was named after Hosni Mubarak's grandson.[8]


Main article: India-Oman relations

India–Oman relations are foreign relations between India and the Sultanate of Oman. India has an embassy in Muscat, Oman. The Indian consulate was opened in Muscat in February 1955 and five years later it was upgraded to a Consulate General and later developed into a full-fledged Embassy in 1971. The first Ambassador of India arrived in Muscat in 1973. Oman established its Embassy in New Delhi in 1972 and a Consulate General in Mumbai in 1976.

India has been considering the construction of a 1,100-km-long underwater gas pipeline from Oman for transporting natural gas. Called the South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), it will act as an alternative to the Iran–Pakistan–India pipeline. The proposed sub-sea pipeline will meet the additional gas requirement of the UAE, Oman, and India, besides easing gas transportation issues of producing countries like Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar. The project has been slow in materialising although it was first mooted in 1985.[9][10][11][12]

$5.6 bn Oman-India energy pipeline plans progressing: Fox Petroleum Group envisions a roughly five-year timeframe for the execution of the pipeline project.[13]

Ajay Kumar, the chairman and managing director of Fox Petroleum, based in New Delhi, which is an associate company of Fox Petroleum FZC in the UAE, said that Mr Modi had “fired the best weapon of economic development and growth”. “He has given a red carpet for global players to invest in India,” Mr Kumar added. “It will boost all sectors of industry – especially for small-scale manufacturing units and heavy industries too. Ajay Kumar, chairman and managing director of Fox Petroleum, said, “In the last few years, deepsea gas pipeline technology has matured. Since India has serious security concerns with regard to pipeline projects over land, a deepsea pipeline is probably the most promising option. This 1,600-kilometer OIMPP project intends to transport 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to India over a period of 20 years. The pipeline is planned to be about 1,300 kilometers long in Phase I, and 300 kilometers more to connect Mumbai, laid at a depth of 3,400 meters below the seabed. It will connect the Middle East Compression Station near Oman with the receiving terminal near Gujarat.”

A week prior to the Iran-P5+1 Framework Agreement, Fox Petroleum issued a proposal for the construction of the Oman-India Multi-Purpose Pipeline (OIMPP), a deep water pipeline system to transport Iranian natural gas via Oman to a receiving terminal on the coast of India’s Gujarat state. Costing an estimated $5.6 billion, the 1,600 km pipeline would transport 8 trillion cubic meters over a 20-year period. Citing recent advances in deep-sea pipeline technology, Fox Petroleum’s chairman asserted that gas imports to India via OIMPP would be less expensive than India’s LNG imports by $1.5-2 per million BTU. The same pipeline system could also be used to transport natural gas from Qatar to India, thereby creating a nexus of Persian Gulf natural gas suppliers oriented toward supplying the world’s fast growing major economy. And, as Modi intimated in Ashgabat the potential would even exist for Turkmenistan to export its gas to India across Iran and via the undersea pipeline.

Source: [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]


On 4 February 2011, Oman recognized the Republic of Kosovo as independent and sovereign country.[21] On 20 September 2011, the recognition was reconfirmed following a meeting between government leaders of Kosovo and Oman.[22]


Malaysia and Oman established diplomatic relations in 1983. Since that, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Oman stood at nearly RM500 million during January–October 2010, with Malaysia's main exports to Oman being edible oil, machinery, appliances and parts, wood products, electrical and electronic products.


The relationship between Islamabad and Muscat is warm, because it is the nearest Arab country to Pakistan and the fact that some 30% of Omani's are of Balochi origin from Pakistan's Balochistan province, having settled in Oman over a hundred years ago. In 1958 Gwadar was part of Oman but was transferred to Pakistan in that year.


Russia has an embassy in Muscat. Oman is represented in Russia through its embassy in Moscow. Both Oman and Russia had established diplomatic relations of February 5, 1986 and still maintain mostly friendly relations.

South Korea

The Republic of Korea-Oman Agreement on the mutual waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official, special and service passports came into effect on 11 April 2015. The agreement allowed citizens of the two countries with valid diplomatic, official, special, or service passports to stay in each other’s territories without visa for up to 90 days. The agreement was made to help promote inter-governmental and people-to-people exchanges as well as substantive cooperation between the two countries.[23]

United Arab Emirates

In December 2010, Oman discovered a spy network operated by the United Arab Emirates which collected information on Oman's military and government. They were reportedly interested in who would replace Qaboos as his heir and about Oman's relations with Iran.[24][25] Kuwait mediated in the dispute.[26]

United Kingdom

Relations between the United Kingdom and Oman are strong and strategic.[27] In April 2010 the government of Oman stated that it wanted to buy Eurofighter Typhoons from the UK.[27] The United Kingdom has an embassy in Mina al Fahal[28] and Oman has an embassy in London.[29]

The Dhofar Rebellion was launched in the province of Dhofar against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman and United Kingdom from 1962 to 1975. It ended with intervention of Iranian Imperial Forces and defeat of the rebels, but the state of Oman had to be radically reformed and modernized to cope with the campaign.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Oman in November 2010 to commemorate Oman's 40th National Day and take part in the tremendous celebrations in the Country. This was her second visit to the Sultanate (first being in 1979).

United States

In 1974 and April 1983, Sultan Qaboos of Oman made state visits to the United States. Vice President George H. Bush visited Oman in 1984 and 1986, and President Bill Clinton visited briefly in March 2000. Vice President Dick Cheney visited Oman in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2008. In March 2005, the U.S. and Oman launched negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement that were successfully concluded in October 2005. The FTA was signed on January 19, 2006, and is pending implementation.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Brunei-Oman Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Brunei). Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  2. "BRUNEI AND OMAN: STRENGTHENING BILATERAL RELATIONS". Asia Economic Institute. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  3. Oxford Business Group (2009). The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2009. Oxford Business Group. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-1-907065-09-5.
  4. Cochrane, David (September 26, 2016). "Private meeting at UN between Trudeau team and Omani officials led to Hoodfar's release by Iran". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  8. "Egypt Independent". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  9. "IOC seeks nod to join deep sea gas pipeline project of SAGE". The Hindu. June 19, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  10. "India considering deepwater gas pipeline from Oman: Report". Economic Times. September 20, 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  11. "The Oman-India Gas Pipeline Project: Need to Resurrect Again". Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  13. 1 2
  21. Republic of Kosovo Established Diplomatic Relations with Sultanate of Oman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2011-02-04
  22. Recognition from the Sultanate of Oman is reconfirmed, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2011-10-20
  24. "BBC News - Oman uncovers 'spy network' but UAE denies any links". BBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  25. "Oman says busts UAE spy network, UAE denies role". Reuters. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  26. Defaiya. "Kuwaiti Mediation Resolves Oman-UAE Spy Dispute". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  27. 1 2 "BBC News - Oman 'wants to buy' Eurofighter planes from the UK". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  28. "UK and Oman". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  29. Oman Embassy in the UK

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website

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