Sushma, Omani counterpart discuss Indian projects

Sushma, Omani counterpart discuss Indian projects

In her first dialogue with the foreign minister of another nation, Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday held wide-ranging talks with her Omani counterpart Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, who also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides reviewing the bilateral relations, the two foreign ministers are understood to have also discussed the Oman-Iran-India deep sea gas pipeline project for transporting fuel from West Asia to the Indian shore.

Abdullah invited Sushma for a visit to Oman later this year, which the minister has agreed to. The dates would be finalised later through diplomatic channels, official sources said.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister, Abdullah conveyed his Sultan’s greetings and Modi in turn thanked the Sultan for looking after the well being of 700,000 Indians living there. Modi said he looked forward to further strengthening of bilateral ties.

The two foreign ministers also discussed enhancing project exports from India to Oman. In 2013, Indian companies bagged contracts worth $1.25 billion in Oman. Both Sushma and Abdullah felt the trend should continue.

They also agreed to convene the India-Oman Joint Commission at an early date this year so as to provide further impetus to the growing economic and commercial engagement.

Oman is the only Gulf nation with which India conducts regular military exercises, which signifies India’s closeness with the country. The two navies carry out exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr (Sea Breeze) whereas the two air forces conduct air exercise Al Jisr Al Sharqi (Eastern Bridge). In addition, the two navies cooperate in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

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