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KUWAIT: Kuwait Amir HH Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receives the Sultan of Oman, Haitham Bin Tarik at Kuwait international airport on May 13, 2024.
KUWAIT: Kuwait Amir HH Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receives the Sultan of Oman, Haitham Bin Tarik at Kuwait international airport on May 13, 2024.

Omani Sultan’s visit: Another milestone in historic relations

KUWAIT: After the historic visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Oman last February, the visit by Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq to Kuwait on Monday added another milestone to the historic ties. The last visit by His Highness the Amir to Muscat ushered in a new era in relations through the exchange of top state honors, exemplified by the Order of Al-Said bestowed on His Highness the Amir and the Order of Mubarak the Great bestowed on Sultan Haitham in return.

The past visit also saw the inauguration of the Al-Duqm refinery and petrochemical complex, a globally renowned Kuwaiti-Omani joint petroleum venture at the cost of around $9 billion. Kuwaiti-Omani ties have always been highlighted by a strong sense of cooperation, a keen sense of brotherhood, and mutual respect shown by the leaderships and people of both countries. Relations between the brotherly nations went beyond mere decades; the Kuwaiti and Omani people had been intertwined in familial and commercial relations for centuries.

Perhaps the biggest indication of the strength of relations came when Kuwait experienced its darkest hours during the Iraqi invasion in 1990, for which the Sultanate of Oman expressed utter condemnation. The Omani involvement in the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 had displayed the Sultanate’s keenness to turn words of solidarity into action on the ground. On the political level, the leaderships of both countries were keen on visiting each other in an act to bolster and foster ties for the sake of their development and their peoples.

On September 18, 1991, then Kuwait Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Oman and met with the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, expressing gratitude towards Oman’s support of Kuwait during the invasion. On December 23, 1991, Sultan Qaboos visited Kuwait to partake in the 12th GCC Summit, meeting during the occasion with the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad. On May 20, 2002, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, yet again, visited Kuwait, meeting with the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad to inquire about his health condition.

During this visit, Sultan Qaboos held official rounds of talks with Sheikh Jaber, discussing matters pertaining to ties as well as developments within the Arab and Islamic spheres. On June 7, 2005, Sultan Qaboos visited Kuwait, meeting with then-Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, with both officials focusing on the latest developments back then on the level of bilateral ties and happenings in the world.

On December 28, 2009, the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah bestowed on Sultan Qaboos the “Order of Mubarak the Great” during his visit to Kuwait. Sultan Qaboos also bestowed Sheikh Sabah with the “Civil Order of Oman of the First Class.” On June 17, 2010, Sultan Qaboos bin Said visited Kuwait and met with Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, discussing during the occasion a number of matters relating to relations and recent happenings in the world back then. On April 16, 2012, Sultan Qaboos was on a four-day visit to Kuwait, where he met with the Amir Sheikh Sabah, discussing with him different issues. The late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Oman on February 20, 2017, where he met with Sultan Qaboos and discussed matters pertaining to relations.

On January 12, 2020, the late Amir Sheikh Sabah visited the Sultanate to offer condolences on the passing of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The current Sultan Haitham bin Tariq visited Kuwait on October 1, 2020, to offer his condolences on the passing away of the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sultan Haitham also visited Kuwait on June 18, 2023, to offer condolences over the death of the late Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

On the level of cooperation, Kuwait and Oman had closely coordinated efforts throughout their history, forming in 2001 a cooperation committee to hold regular meetings. Officials from both countries also exchanged regular visits to seek bolstering of cooperation and ways to coordinate stances on issues of importance. On March 11, 2023, then Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah headed Kuwait’s delegation to the ninth meeting of the joint Kuwaiti-Omani committee in Oman, holding discussions with Omani counterpart Badr Al-Busaidi.

Al-Busaidi, on his part, visited Kuwait on November 16, 2023, where he held an official round of meetings with Sheikh Salem, signing on the occasion agreements in the fields of higher education, economy, environment protection, and industrial exports. On November 21, 2023, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah visited Oman, meeting with Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Shihab bin Tareq.

The two discussed ways to bolster relations within the defensive domain. On the level of oil cooperation, the OQ8 trademark was launched on January 14, 2021, for the Duqm refinery in Oman, a venture amongst Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) and Oman Oil Company (OQ). CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah, also visited Oman on December 12, 2023, to follow up on the Duqm refinery project. On October 7, 2023, Kuwait hosted the “Oman in the Heart of Kuwait” exhibition with the participation of 50 Omani artists. — KUNA

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