On Sunday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will pay a visit to Muscat for the first time since he took the office, upon an invitation from the Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said.
“The president will meet with Sultan Qaboos and a number of top Omani officials, where they will tackle ways to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries on all levels,” the president’s spokesperson Bassam Radi stated on Sunday, adding that “the three-day official visit will witness talks between the two leaders over the latest developments in the region.”
The relations between Egypt and Oman have been characteristically warm for decades. During Sisi’s presidency, Egyptian-Omani relations have deeply flourished and advanced in various fields such as political, economical, and cultural cooperation. Egypt Today presents an overview of the most recent advancements of the cooperation between the two states
Egyptian-Omani deep rooted political cooperation
Last year, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Muskat twice and discussed the cooperation between the two states. On November 2018, Shoukry met with his Omani counterpart, Yusuf bin Alawi, handing over a message to Oman’s Sultan Qaboos from President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi concerning regional developments and cooperation. Shoukry’s visit came as a part of his regional diplomatic tour aimed at “an intensification of consultations and coordination between Egypt and its brothers in the region.”
In January, Shokry paid a visit to Muscat in which he discussed strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and followed-up on the implementation of cooperation programs with Yusuf bin Alawi, Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
For their part, Bin Alawi paid a visit to Egypt in which he and Sisi discussed boosting mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The cooperation between the two countries expanded to Military level as Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhy visited Muscat in November 2017 where he discussed military cooperation between the two states and discussed a number of issues of mutual concern with his Omani counterpart Badr bin Saud al-Busaidi.
Founding their embassy in Egypt in 1972, Oman has developed its relations with Egypt. The Sultanate is keen to participate in conferences called for by Egypt, such as participation in the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), a three-day event that took place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from March 13, 2015, and their attendance at the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal and other new events.
Egyptian-Omani economic fruitful relations
While Oman views Egypt as one of the most significant stations through which it can enter into the African market, Egypt considers Oman as a large commercial and investment market which represents one of the important trade keys between Cairo and the Gulf countries.
The recent statistics have shown that Egypt’s exports to Oman are about to reach LE 23 million. However, Egypt’s import amounted to LE 8 million.
On February 24, 2017 Egypt and Oman signed three bilateral cooperation agreements between the two ministries of manpower of the respective countries at the end of the 13th session of the Egyptian-Omani joint commission meetings that were held in Cairo under the chairmanship of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Youssef Bin Alawi.
The two ministers ordered to launch arrangements for the 14th session of the Egyptian-Omani joint committee, scheduled to be held in Muscat in the current year.
On May 17, 2017, bilateral meetings were held between the companies of the two countries to promote trade exchange. The bilateral meetings between Egyptian -Omani companies aimed at boosting trade exchange between the two countries. It included 25 exporting companies from the largest commercial companies in the Sultanate and 95 Egyptian companies that have been importing from major governments and private companies.
Mass Cultural exchange relations
Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oman in 2014 to begin media cooperation and the exchange of information and research. The MOU aimed to support the joint production of printed and electronic publications, which shed light on the long historical relations between the two countries, ease the research of media specialties, and encourage the exchange of visits among media experts.
Egypt also hosted many Omani cultural and art events. At the Opera house in 2010, the Omani Association of journalists held a photo exhibition under the theme: “Features from Oman”.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina also played a vital role in deepening the cultural relations between the two countries. The Bibliotheca hosted various Omani cultural events such as the “Omani Cultural Day” event which was held in 2013 about the means of communication between the two brotherly countries.
In March 2016, the Muscat Film Festival witnessed a remarkable participation of Egyptian actors and actresses. Moreover, they commemorated the deceased actor Nour el-Sherif.
Egypt’s Al Azhar, the oldest and the most prestigious center of advanced Islamic studies among Sunni Muslims signed a protocol with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs and Oman has praised many Egypt’s sheikh and scholars to their mosques. Many Omani missions have come to Egypt to study in Alazhar University yearly.
There are an estimated 59,000 Egyptian expatriates in Oman.
Egyptian-Omani relations represent a key axis in the Arab region in light of the harmony in mutual visions and policies, stated Oman’s Ambassador to Egypt Aly Bin Ahmed al-Essay
All Omanis appreciate the role Egypt plays in resolving conflicts in the region, the ambassador said in statements to MENA on the occasion of July 23 revolution anniversary.
Egyptian-Omani relations have witnessed notable development due to the active communication between Cairo and Muscat, the ambassador reaffirmed.
Throughout history, Egypt has been an integral part in building and uniting the Arab ranks, the envoy said, adding that Egypt spared no effort in making sacrifices to defend the Arab and Muslims causes.