Articles and Commentaries |
July 3, 2023

Work collectively to preserve peace, enhance progress and fortify stability in Indian Ocean Region

Written By: Sayyid Badr Albusaidi

The Sultanate of Oman is fortunate to be situated along historic maritime routes. Trade and cultural exchange therefore form the basis of Oman’s history. As a seafaring nation, Omanis have always engaged with neighbours far and near, and this has enabled us to support peace and prosperity through partnership.

In all our endeavours, we foster harmonious relations and collaborative multilateral efforts to ensure a resilient future for our neighbourhood: for our shared maritime domain. The Indian Ocean region holds immense strategic significance, serving as a vital link connecting the East with the West. Its waters not only facilitate global trade and commerce, but also act as a gateway for cultural exchange and intercontinental cooperation.

We embrace the concept of working collectively to preserve peace, enhance progress and fortify stability in our region. It is Oman’s view that peace can be best achieved by fostering an environment of mutual respect. We overcome differences through open communication and hence forge lasting partnerships.

Through our longstanding policy of quiet diplomacy, we sustain stable and balanced relations with all our neighbours. We do not risk sudden shifts in the political environment of the kind that can undermine business confidence. This is Oman’s mantra. Dialogue gives us the best chance of peace. Peace brings prosperity and stability. And this is in the interests of all.

In the realm of maritime security, a shared concern for all states of the Indian Ocean region, no navy has the strength and knowledge to secure the seas alone. We rely on high level collaboration: partners must respect the rule of law and together ensure that transit routes remain peaceful and secure for all. Oman is committed to such collaboration to enable trade and investment. This will drive growth and uplift the livelihoods of all the people of the Indian Ocean.

Oman’s Vision 2040 development plan, focusses on this and pays particular attention to port development. In our region, ports are forecast substantially to reduce transit times and costs, and lead to a massive overall increase in the volume of trade. This will benefit us all. The Indian Ocean region, with all its economic and resource diversity, is brimming with immense potential. This potential can be unlocked by fostering economic integration, promoting sustainable development, and facilitating innovation. And our ports support this. Through Oman’s three major ports and freezones, Salalah, Sohar, and Duqm, we are leveraging our strategic location to boost regional trade and connectivity. But our ports cannot be successful without regional and international collaboration.

Partnership is the bedrock upon which nations can flourish. Enhancing cooperation in maritime security, economic opportunities, and information sharing is essential to enabling the free flow of goods, services and ideas. This will ensure a peaceful, prosperous and resilient future. The world has seen some positive shifts recently, in terms of pragmatism, dialogue, and inclusion. By welcoming all parties to the international arena, we gain a greater understanding of what transpires in our region, and thereby guarantee a safer environment for all.

We are proud to be part of this network of dedicated and pragmatic states, and we look forward to strengthening our cooperation further with cohesiveness and transparency, for the benefit of the people of the Indian Ocean and the world.

Author Brief Bio: Mr. Sayyid Badr Albusaidi is the Foreign Minister of Oman.

Note: This article is based on the Text of the Speech delivered (Virtually) by Mr. Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, Foreign Minister of Oman, at the 6th Indian Ocean Conference 2023 in Dhaka on 13 May 2023.

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