Morocco and Oman have long maintained friendly political ties, but both countries see room for improvement in the economic, cultural, and scientific realms.
Rabat – Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani received Wednesday in Rabat the ambassador of Oman and expressed his hopes that the diplomat will successfully develop relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Said bin Ali Al Buru’umi presented his credentials to Morocco’s foreign minister on July 8, 2020. During his meeting with El Othmani on July 22, the diplomat conveyed Oman’s congratulations to King Mohammed VI on the upcoming Eid Al Adha and Throne Day celebrations, wishing the Moroccan monarch well-being and good health.
Al Buru’umi also reiterated his country’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara, a position the sultanate has publicly held since January 2019.
He said Oman recognizes and appreciates Morocco’s experience and expertise in various fields, adding that the sultanate hopes to develop trade and investment relations with the North African country.
The diplomat underlined the importance of promoting business partnerships, encouraging tourism, exploring prospects for cooperation in the pharmaceutical and automotive industries.
El Othmani emphasized Morocco’s satisfaction with the relations it has maintained with Oman since the 1970s. He welcomed the convergence of views and political positions on major regional and international issues, according to a statement from the head of government’s office.
Although Morocco and Oman benefit from strong political and diplomatic ties, El Othmani underlined the need to revitalize bilateral agreements in the economic, scientific, and cultural fields. The two countries should also develop cooperation in tourism, higher education, and scientific research and renew agriculture and sustainable energy partnerships, the Moroccan official said.
The current state of Morocco-Oman relations
In the words of the Moroccan monarchy, Morocco and Oman enjoy “distinguished relations” based on “cooperation and solidarity.”
After the late Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said died on January 10, 2020, King Mohammed VI expressed his heartfelt condolences for the country’s loss.
Prince Moulay Rachid represented King Mohammed VI at the Sultan’s funeral on January 13. He passed on the monarchy’s sympathy as well as a message of congratulations from King Mohammed VI to Sultan Haitham, the new leader of the Omani people.
King Mohammed VI also commended the strong links between the royal families of Morocco and Oman and the distinguished relations between the two “brotherly” countries.
The economic sphere of Morocco-Oman relations centers around several agreements, including one to protect and encourage bilateral investments. The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) has a cooperation agreement with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A cooperation agreement also unites the Casablanca and Muscat stock exchanges.
Morocco and Oman enjoy friendly political ties, with Oman commending the “wisdom of the Moroccan leadership committed to a peaceful solution to the question of the Moroccan Sahara” in January 2019.
In the cultural realm, Morocco’s National Museums Foundation and the National Museum of Oman signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2020 to strengthen cultural relations between their respective countries.
The two institutions aim to exchange exhibitions and expertise in museum curation and expressed a willingness to promote civilizational and historic landmarks in Morocco and Oman.
In 2019, some 4,500 Moroccans were living in Oman, while nearly 200 Omani students were pursuing their studies in Moroccan universities and institutions.
Morocco launched a direct flight between Muscat and Casablanca in July 2018 with the aim of increasing bilateral tourism.
However, Morocco and Oman are still working to improve relations and become serious partners. Although bilateral trade between the two countries has more than doubled over the last five years, there is significant room for improvement.
With Morocco’s head of government and the Omani ambassador renewing intent to further consolidate ties on Wednesday, the two countries appear hopeful for a prosperous future in several fields of shared interest.