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Foreign Minister Qureshi seeks promotion of multi-dimensional ties with Oman

Updated January 30, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. — Photo courtesy: Foreign Office Facebook page
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. — Photo courtesy: Foreign Office Facebook page

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while on a two-day visit to Muscat on Wednesday said that his meetings with Omani officials would build on areas that both countries agree on and mull over how an economic partnership could be promoted.

In an exclusive interview with the Times of Oman, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that a host of matters would be discussed during his meetings with Oman's leadership to "promote and build a multi-dimensional relationship" between both countries.

Qureshi was received by his Omani counterpart, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah upon his arrival in Muscat yesterday. Today, he met Minister of Royal Office General Sultan bin Mohammad al-Naamani and discussed matters of mutual interest and regional security, according to Radio Pakistan.

The foreign minister told the Times of Oman that he had also met the Minister of Diwan of Royal Court Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidi and discussed defence cooperation and intelligence sharing between the two countries, as well as regional issues.

He said that due to the country's closeness to Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, there were opportunities for investment in the special economic zones being set up.

He pointed out that the current level of bilateral trade between both countries did not reflect the "exceptionally warm political relationships our two countries enjoy", adding that this matter would also be discussed.

He also suggested that Pakistan could take advantage of the opportunity to help Oman achieve some sort of food security, and added that the middle eastern country could also investment in Pakistan's food processing industry.

Qureshi also said he had suggested enhancing Muscat's equity in the Pak Oman Investment Company as "Pakistan is ready for investments". He added that a new set up in the Board of Investment was also encouraging investing in Pakistan.

"I'm very happy with the discussions I've had so far," he said.

Qureshi said he will also meet Oman's Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Chief Executive Officer and Director of State General Reserve Fund Abdulsalam Mohammed Al-Murshidi, and other high-ranking officials.

Additionally, he is expected to represent the Pakistani delegation at a meeting of the Pak-Oman Joint Ministerial Commission and address the Pakistani community in Oman.

Both countries will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding, Radio Pakistan reported.

Discussing the contribution of overseas Pakistanis, Qureshi said Pakistan wants them to play "a great role" in the country through investing, by being "effective ambassadors" in their respective countries and by making an intellectual contribution to Pakistan.

"We have some outstanding professionals all over the world, we need them. Our institutions over the years have deteriorated and we need rejuvenation, we need fresh blood," he added.

Qureshi asked those planning vacations in 2020 to visit Pakistan as it would reconnect them with the country while helping it through tourism.

He also noted the generous contributions of the overseas Pakistani community to the dam fund.

The top diplomat said he had held a meeting with his Omani counterpart and had extended him an invitation to Pakistan, which was accepted. Qureshi said he also invited the foreign secretary to Pakistan for bilateral political consultations and said he would be visiting Pakistan in 2019.

When asked about when Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Oman, he said it would be soon, adding that the premier was very keen to visit Oman and other regional countries.