Johnson hosts Oman’s Sultan at No 10

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The Prime Minister and Sultan Haitham committed to continue working closely together, looking ahead to a potential UK-GCC summit in 2022, reports Asian Lite News

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, to Downing Street on Thursday for discussions aimed at enhancing the bilateral relationship between two countries.

He welcomed the long-standing ties between the United Kingdom and Oman and looked forward to revitalising the partnership and deepening cooperation across trade, investment and defence, Downing Street said in a press release.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said for a bilateral meeting in 10 Downing Street. (Picture_Simon Dawson _No 10) -min

The leaders noted the ongoing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and discussed efforts to boost our economic recovery, such as a new UK-Gulf Cooperation Council free trade agreement. They highlighted the investment opportunities in green and renewable technology in the UK and Oman, including in wind power and hydrogen.

On regional security issues, the leaders discussed the continuing crisis in Yemen and the talks in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal. They agreed to further strengthen our defence and security cooperation, recognising the strategic importance of the Duqm base in Oman for the UK.

The Prime Minister and Sultan Haitham committed to continue working closely together, looking ahead to a potential UK-GCC summit in 2022.

The meeting was attended from the Omani side by Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs, Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Gen. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Nu’amani, Minister of the Royal Office,  Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Foreign Minister and Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Hinai, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the UK.

Meanwhile, it was attended from the British side by David Quarrey, the Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser, Bill Murray, the UK Ambassador to Oman and a number of officials.

On Wednesday, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II hosted Oman’s Sultan and his wife, Sayyida Ahad bint Abdullah, at Windsor Castle.

As a Royal felicitation to the Sultan Haitham, Queen Elizabeth II, had conferred the honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on His Majesty the Sultan.

The two heads of state, and Sayyida Ahad, 51, were pictured smiling and shaking hands, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

ALSO READ: Queen Elizabeth receives Oman’s Sultan at Windsor Castle

The Sultan of Oman, a former culture and heritage minister who studied at Oxford University, came to power after the death of his cousin, Sultan Qaboos, last year.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik met with Prince Charles of Wales at Clarence House in London.

The meeting discussed aspects of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various areas in light of the advanced relations binding the two countries and their peoples.