Ben Wallace, UK State Secretary for Defence arrived to Muscat Monday on an official several-day visit to the Sultanate of Oman.
The UK Minister and his accompanying delegation were received at A’Seeb Air Base by Commodore Saif bin Nasser al-Rahbi, Assistant Chief-of-Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces for Administration and a number of senior officers.
They were also received by the UK Ambassador to the Sultanate and the British Defence Attaché at the UK Embassy in Muscat.
For his part, His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs had received the visiting Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and ways to develop them in addition to the two countries’ cooperation and mutual defense agreement. They also discussed regional issues of common interest.
They also exchanged views on a number of current regional and international issues of common interest. The two sides stressed the importance of supporting all peaceful efforts that aim at strengthening ties of cooperation and understanding in a way that enhances pillars of peace and security in the region and the world.
The meeting was attended by Sir Edward Lister, Chief Strategic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Hamish Cowell, UK Ambassador to the Sultanate, Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Badi, Head of the Minister’s Office Department and a number of officials at the Ministry.
Furthermore, the British Secretary of State for Defence went on tour of Musandam Governorate Tuesday. He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Mattar bin Ali al-Obaidani, Commander of the Royal Air Force of Oman.
On Wednesday, Ben Wallace and his accompanying delegation went on tour to the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD). They were received by Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Theeb, Deputy Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones.
The UK official and his accompanying delegation were briefed on SEZD and its strategic location, its facilities, establishments, and the various investment projects there. The guests also toured some of SEZD facilities.
Meanwhile, an official session of talks between Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik bin Taimour Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs and Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence (photo) was held at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Al Murtafa Camp Wednesday.
Sayyid Shihab welcomed the guest, who expressed his delight to visit the Sultanate. After that, the strong bilateral relations binding the Sultanate and the friendly United Kingdom was reviewed. They also discussed the existing cooperation relations between the two defense ministries and means of enhancing them. The two sides touched upon the joint defense agreement and emphasized its importance in the interest of the two friendly countries.
The session was attended by Mohammed bin Nasser Al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, Major General Mattar bin Salem Al Balushi, Commander of the Royal Army of Oman (RAO), Hamish Cowell, UK Ambassador to the Sultanate and the delegation accompanying the guest.
Lastly, General Sultan bin Mohammed al-Nu’mani, Minister of the Royal Office received in his office Wednesday the UK Defence Secretary of State for Defence and his accompanying delegation. General al- Nu’mani reiterated the historic, strong relations with the friendly United Kingdom and their development in several fields, thanks to the attention accorded by the two leaderships of the two countries.
On his turn, the UK Defence Secretary expressed his appreciation for the Sultanate’s role at the regional and international arenas, as well as the Sultanate’s role in strengthening ties of friendship and understanding. The meeting also reviewed the march of advanced relations binding the two friendly countries, in addition to touching on a range of issues of mutual interest.
The meeting was attended by Hamish Cowell, UK Ambassador to the Sultanate.