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Swaraj arrives in Oman; economic issues and defence on the agenda

Swaraj arrives in Oman; economic issues and defence on the agenda
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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Tuesday on her first official visit to Oman for talks with the oil-rich Gulf nation’s top leadership and review bilateral political, economic, defence and security issues as well as the regional situation.

This is Swaraj’s third visit to the Gulf region. She had earlier travelled to Bahrain in September and the United Arab Emirates in November last year, indicating the high importance attached by the new government on India’s relations with the strategic region.

During her two-day visit here, Swaraj will hold extensive talks tomorrow with her Omani counterpart Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah on bilateral, regional and other issues of mutual interest.

Interestingly, the first foreign minister that Swaraj received was Abdullah, who had visited New Delhi in June last year, soon after the BJP-led government assumed office as an emissary of the Omani leadership.

Swaraj, who arrived here in the evening, was received by Omani foreign ministry officials and India’s Ambassador to Oman J S Mukul.

“The external affairs minister’s visit to Oman will take stock of various political, economic, defence, security and people to people linkages. She is also expected to discuss regional issues in which both India and Oman have an interest,” Indian officials said. The two Foreign Ministers are likely to discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s possible visit to Oman later this year, official sources said.
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