Times Of Oman|Ona: At the time the region is experiencing rapid developments at different levels and facing pressing challenges that affect its present and future, it is true that the friendly, close and growing relations between the Sultanate and the Islamic Republic Iran have been and are still one of the main pillars that can contribute to enhancing peace, security and stability atmosphere in this vital region of the world.
These relations provide more opportunities for achieving the joint and reciprocal interests not only on the level of the bilateral Omani -Iranian relations but also on the level of the Gulf and Arab region and the world as well.
The relationship between the Sultanate and Iran did not happen as a coincidence or due to emergency circumstances but they are rather based on long-term historic relations, joint interests, political will and mutual confidence. This confidence has been enhanced by understanding , transparency, abiding by good neighboring principles, non- interference in the domestic affairs and bona fide to achieve welfare for peoples and countries of the region.
The Sultanate, as it has always been, is very keen on expanding the horizons of cooperation and friendship with the friendly countries in the region and the world as well in a bid to enhance opportunities for peace, security, stability and common interests with countries and people of the region without prejudice to any of the Sultanate’s relations with other friendly countries. This has been a firm principle of the Omani policy which has been outlined by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970.
Thus, the visit of Dr. Hassan Rouhani, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Sultanate on Wednesday, during which he will be received by HM the Sultan, is very important and accorded with wide interest in the region and the world as well. During the visit, the two sides will discuss a number of issues related to the growing bilateral relations between the two countries and people. They will also discuss the regional and world developments which require exchanging views and making steady efforts to enhance peace and rapprochement among countries and people of the region.
These developments also require solving all problems through dialogue, abiding by peaceful means, respect of the common interests, good neighbouring principles, international practices based on international charters and decisions.
There is a consensus on these principles among different countries of the regions whose people are looking forward to more peace, security and stability to focus on building better present and future for their people and keep pace with the rapid developments around them.
It should be noted that the visit of the Iranian president Dr Rouhani to the Sultanate on Wednesday is his second visit after the first visit in March 2014.
It was also his first visit to an Arab country after assuming office in 2013. Today’s visit is also the fourth visit by an Iranian president to the Sultanate since 2004. The first visit by an Iranian president to the Sultanate was in 2004 by former president Mohammad Khatami, followed by the visit of Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007. HM the Sultan, who visited the Islamic republic of Iran in August 2009 and August 2013, was the first Arab leader to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran after President Rouhani assumed office.
The Omani- Iranian Summit comes within the framework of the continuous exchange of views on the different aspects of the bilateral growing relations in various fields to achieve the common interests for the two countries and for the Omani and Iranian people as well.
The visit is also an opportunity to discuss a number of pressing regional issues and the efforts made to reach peaceful solutions in Syria, Yemen and others. It is also an opportunity to discuss cooperation in combatting all forms and types of terrorism and doubling the efforts made to ensure stability and security in the region and in the world based on collective cooperation and compliance with the UN Resolution related to establishing a world free of violence and extremism.
As the Sultanate has managed to play a positive, successful and tangible role at the nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Group 5+1 when it hosted the preliminary negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and USA in November 2013.
The hosting , which comes in response to the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said was based on the high level of confidence and appreciation for the Sultanate by the two friendly countries. The final accord, which was signed in July 2015 , became effective starting from January 2016.
After the accord, the international sanctions against Iran were left in part. The accord provides an evidence about the important and vital role the Omani diplomacy and wisdom can play in solving many complex issues and diffuse a conflict that effectively threatened the security of the region that no one can deny.
There is a common agreement that such approach brings benefits not only to various countries of the region but also to the world as well. Despite the change of the US administration, the new US administration and the parties that have signed the nuclear deal realise the importance and value of abiding by this accord to ensure security, peace and stability of the region and the world around it.
As for the bilateral relations between the Sultanate and the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are not overestimating if we said that the relation has been an important pillar for security and stability in this vital region over the past years. It has been very crucial not only in the level of continuing open and secure maritime traffic at the vital international maritime pathways, but also on the level of expanding bilateral cooperation between the Sultanate and Iran in many fields to achieve joint interests and bring welfare to both neighbouring countries and people in the present and future and for the region around them as well.
While the joint committees play an active role in many fields to enhance Iranian investments in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD) and Sohar Industrial Estate, the construction of the gas pipeline between Sohar Port and Bandar Abbas Port in Iran is progressing very well. The launching of the ferry service between Khasab Port in the Governorate of Musandam and Bahman Port in Qeshm Island in Hormuzgan of Iran last July comes in a bid to enhance transport, trade and tourism between the two countries. The launching coincided with increasing the number of flights between Muscat and a number of Iranian cities.
Trade fairs and public and private delegations are also organized to enhance reciprocal trade and ensuring access of the Sultanate to Ashgabat group of countries and access of the trade of these countries to the Omani ports through the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Iranian president’s visit to the Sultanate is expected to bring many direct and indirect benefits not only for the Sultanate and Iran but also for the countries and peoples of the region.