The U.S. Embassy Celebrates our National Day

Ambassador Marc J. Sievers and Guest of Honor, the Honorable Dr. Sheikh Al Khattab bin Ghalib bin Ali Al Hinai, cut the cake to inaugurate the U.S. Embassy Muscat National Day Celebration

On the evening of Monday, May 23, the U.S. Embassy in Muscat was proud to host hundreds of honored guests for our Annual National Day Celebration, in remembrance of our Independence Day Holiday of July 4th. This year, we chose to hold our festivities in May, so as to avoid the heat of early July. We were proud to welcome our Guest of Honor for the event, the Honorable Dr. Sheikh Al Khattab bin Ghalib bin Ali Al Hinai, to our event.

Ambassador Marc J. Sievers delivers his remarks to a crowd of hundreds, during our National Day Celebration.
Ambassador Marc J. Sievers delivers his remarks to a crowd of hundreds, during our National Day Celebration.

Welcoming our guests, friends, and family here in Oman, the Ambassador shared the following words:

Ambassador’s Remarks: Independence Day Celebration

Sheraton Hotel, May 22, 2017, at 7:30 pm.

ضيوفنا الكرام
مساء الخير
يسعدني ويشرفني الترحيب بكم هذا المساء.
اشكركم جزيل الشكر على حضوركم الكريم ومشاركتكم لنا احتفالنا بذكرى إستقلال الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية

Good evening your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, honored guests.  It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you all to our National Day celebration, to commemorate the 241st anniversary of the independence of the United States of America.

I would like to wish His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, continued health and the best wishes of my country’s leadership and of the people of the United States. Sultan Qaboos continues to be one of America’s strongest partners, and my country is grateful to the Sultan for his efforts to establish peace, prosperity, and security in this region and beyond.

In addition, I would like to extend a special welcome to the members of the official Omani delegation this evening, headed by Dr. Sheikh Al-Khattab bin Ghalib bin Ali Al-Hinai, Deputy Chairman of the State Council.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank all the embassy staff who made this event possible.  Many hours of hard work went into making tonight’s event a success, and I would like to express my personal appreciation for their efforts.  And please allow me to offer a special thank you to my departing deputy, Assiya Ashraf-Miller, for her strong leadership and hard work throughout her tour in Muscat.  Assiya, we’ll miss you.

Since I last had the pleasure to host our Independence Day celebration, we’ve witnessed important developments in the United States, as Americans voted into office a new President, who ran on a platform of changing Washington.    But one thing that has not changed is the strong bond between our two nations — a bond that has stood the test of time.  Yesterday in Riyadh, President Trump addressed two remarkable summit meetings with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and leaders of the Arab and Islamic world, aimed at developing an American-Islamic partnership to combat the scourge of terrorism.   I extend my best wishes to His Highness Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud, who represented the Sultan at this remarkable international event.  We hope to see many exchanges between the leaders of our countries in the months ahead.

Together, the U.S. and Oman have accomplished much as partners with common goals and common dreams.  Together, we have worked for peace and security in an ever-turbulent world.  And, together, we have identified new areas for cooperation in science, technology, and entrepreneurship.  These accomplishments are by no means completed – as we continue to work together with our Omani partners.

Throughout my tenure as a U.S. diplomat, in Washington as well as around this region, I have seen time and again that friendly relations, a true partnership, can only come about through sustained dialogue, and mutual respect.  And when I speak about our relationship with Oman, I can say with confidence that all of these characteristics are ever-present.  Ours is a tight-knit friendship — one that I am thankful to benefit from daily, and one that I know my government relies on frequently.

Looking ahead, we are making concerted efforts to broaden bilateral business ties with Oman and deepen investment opportunities here and in the United States.  Thanks to Tanfeedh, my Embassy and I have been able to lead interested American businesses in the right direction, as we focus our efforts on helping Oman achieve great successes in several new and exciting sectors.  And thanks to the strong connections we have with our Omani government and business partners — many of whom are here with us tonight — we are increasing our efforts to make sure more Americans know about Oman’s investment and business opportunities.

I’m sure you noticed the wonderful American vehicles on display tonight.  We would like to thank our sponsors for the generous showcasing of their vehicles and motorcycles.  We would also like to thank Mars candy for their support.  Our transportation theme tonight, featuring many of the American products available right now in Oman, is just a small example of what has come from our robust trade partnership, brought on in large part by our increasingly-utilized bilateral Free Trade Agreement.  Being a fan of many of the brands around us, I’m happy to showcase this part of our trade relationship with all of you.

But let us keep discussions of trade statistics and business ventures for other occasions.  Those of you who have celebrated July 4th in the United States know that this holiday is really about friends and family coming together to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company. Even though we are holding our celebration in May instead of July, please enjoy all that we have to offer this evening, and thank you all sincerely for sharing this joyous celebration with us.

مرة اخرى شكرا على حضوركم واتمنى لكم قضاء أمسية جميلة.

Children from The American International School Muscat's Singing Eagles performed the Omani and American National Anthems
Children from The American International School Muscat’s Singing Eagles Choir performed the Omani and American National Anthems