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China and Oman agree to enhance ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) speaks during a meeting with Oman's Ambassador to China, Abdullah Saleh Al Saadi (L) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on October 30, 2019 [MADOKA IKEGAMI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) speaks during a meeting with Oman's Ambassador to China, Abdullah Saleh Al Saadi (L) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on October 30, 2019 [MADOKA IKEGAMI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

China and Oman have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation and push forward free trade zone talks with other Gulf Cooperation Council member states.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaidi met in Muscat on Monday. They signed a visa exemption agreement and reiterated their commitment to working together within the framework of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and Oman's 2040 Vision.

A statement issued by the official Oman News Agency said that both countries affirmed support for enhanced investment and tourism exchanges.

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The Chinese diplomat also noted that bilateral exchanges dating back to the ancient "Maritime Silk Road" have already become a model for cultural exchanges between the Chinese and Arab civilisations.

Wang also praised Oman's pragmatic foreign policy and stressed that Beijing does not seek to interfere in the region's affairs or participate in geopolitical rivalries. "We believe that Oman will play an exclusive role in regional peace and development," he added.

Al-Busaidi, meanwhile, hailed China's stance and its counterbalancing role in safeguarding regional security and international order.

The Times of Oman also reported that the foreign ministers announced that a monument to the famed Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He is to be built in the city of Salalah. "This will be an expression of the symbolic significance of his visit to the Sultanate 600 years ago," they pointed out.

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