SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister al-Busaidi here to the State Department, to Washington, and to continue the very good conversations we’ve had over these past couple of years on a regular basis, but I’m glad we’re finally – have an opportunity to do that face to face in Washington.
I’m particularly pleased that we’ve started our strategic dialogue between Oman and the United States, and we’re focused on a number of critical issues that I think will be to the benefit of people in both countries – trade and investment, education and culture, renewable energy. And let me say there that I think the vision that the sultan has shared to get to net zero by 2050 is very significant and important, and of course, as we head to COP27 this week in Egypt, could not be more timely.
Oman has been a very important partner for the United States on a variety of issues, none less than on Iran, as well as on Yemen and a commitment to try to bring the war in Yemen to an end – one of the areas of tremendous suffering in recent years, but we’re working closely together to try to help bring that to an end.
So there’s a lot to talk about, but I’m especially glad, Badr, that we’re able to do that together here in Washington, and welcome to you.
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-BUSAIDI: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I’m really delighted to be here in Washington to meet with you and your distinguished team, and to launch together this new strategic dialogue between Oman and the United States.
The relationship between our two countries have been founded upon a shared commitment and appreciation of mutual interests and our ability to work together to enhance the security and the well-being of our citizens.
This dialogue, I am sure, will elevate the relationship to a new level as we collaborate to face new challenges as well as be presented by new opportunities in areas like climate change, like decarbonization efforts, and the development of renewable green energy. I think there is much more scope now to elaborate more on our collaboration on culture, on education, including science and technology. We have a free trade agreement, which I think is bound to expand, I hope, in the years to come. And I would like to really encourage our two private sectors to do more in terms of investments and trade.
I think this is a very valuable opportunity to exchange with you, Mr. Secretary, our views and perspectives on a range of issues, whether it’s Palestine or Yemen or regional security. I think the relationship with the United States is very much appreciated by my country. We value this friendship that has stood the test of time for nearly 200 years, and I think it is only fair to say I think it is bound to grow stronger and deeper in the years to come.
So really, I thank you for your welcome, I thank you for your kind words, and I look forward to seeing you in the Sultanate of Oman.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-BUSAIDI: Thank you.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you, everybody.