Viewing cable 04MUSCAT1957

04MUSCAT19572004-11-08 09:59:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1. (SBU) Sultan Qaboos' annual address to the Majlis Oman on 
October 12 stuck to familiar themes in economic and foreign 
policy.  He emphasized the usual twin pillars of economic 
diversification and human resource development and focused on 
the newly established Ministry of Tourism as sign of 
government commitment to expand that sector of the service 
economy.  On foreign policy, the Sultan called for progress 
toward a Palestinian state, security and stability in Iraq, 
the return of occupied territories, and the primacy of 
justice and peaceful dialogue in international relations. 
¶2. (U) On October 12, Sultan Qaboos presided over the 
ceremonial opening session of the Majlis Oman (a joint 
session of the elected Majlis al-Shura and appointed Majlis 
al-Dawla).  Members of the royal family, cabinet ministers, 
key government figures and the diplomatic corps assembled for 
the 10-minute speech that was simultaneously broadcast live 
to audiences in Oman, the UAE, Egypt, Yemen, and Qatar. (Full 
text in para 6.) 
¶3. (SBU) In a preamble, the Sultan called for fearless 
interaction with foreign civilizations and cultures, 
comparing a planet shrunk by modern technology to "one 
village" wherein no society can isolate itself from 
developments around it.  He advocated riding the wave of 
technological innovations in other countries to achieve 
"prosperity and welfare" for the Omani people. 
¶4. (U) The middle portion of the address was devoted to 
economics.  The Sultan assured his audience that the 
government is striving to raise the pillars of a modern state 
and increase living standards, with particular focus on 
diversification of income sources.  He stated that the 
development projects being implemented (primarily in gas-fed 
industries, ports and tourism) will "undoubtedly" contribute 
to diversification of the economy and provide larger 
opportunities for training and employment of Omanis.  The 
Sultan pointed to his decision to establish a Ministry of 
Tourism to manage such a "vital sector" as evidence of his 
hopes for this growing sector. 
¶5. (U) The final third of the speech concerned foreign 
policy.  The Sultan called for an end to "Palestinian daily 
suffering" and the need to give Palestinians the opportunity 
to establish an independent state.  He hoped for security and 
stability to prevail over Iraq, and for the recovery of Arab 
territories under foreign occupation.  The Sultan vowed that 
Oman will "always take sides with rightness, justness, and 
joint efforts... to settle international conflicts through 
dialogue and negotiations." 
¶6.  (U) Dear Citizens, It gives us pleasure to speak to you 
today, as we meet on the occasion of the annual session of 
the Council of Oman, to reaffirm our determination and 
resolution to work diligently, with full confidence in God's 
will, towards broadening the horizons of a sustainable 
comprehensive development.  And we must bear in mind that 
this will only be attainable through means of knowledge, work 
and being broad-minded in keeping abreast of today,s 
developments and achievements in all walks of life, while at 
the same time preserving our basic principles and our firm 
roots.  We should be fearless when communicating with 
different civilizations and cultures around the world, and in 
exploring the accomplishments and developments in those 
communities, in order to enhance our position in a world 
which, due to the latest scientific advancements has become 
smaller, like a village, where no society can isolate itself 
without interacting and communicating with others; that is, 
if that society seeks to achieve prosperity and welfare for 
its citizens. 
This was the case with our Omani ancestors who, throughout 
the ages, traveled to different parts of the world.  They 
extended the hand of friendship to all and looked forward 
with optimism to the mutual exchange of interests with other 
communities without taking sides. 
Dear Citizens, As you know, our goals are the implementation 
of successive development plans in the Sultanate, to finish 
the main infrastructure of a modern state, and to raise the 
living standards in all areas of our dear homeland.  This is 
being accomplished in accordance with specific programs, 
which have been studied very carefully, and which are aimed 
at increasing the ratio of economic development with more 
emphasis on the diversification of the sources of national 
income and the development of human resources. 
In this respect, the outcome of the policies followed by our 
government to encourage all non-oil sectors is now visible, 
thanks be to God.  We can already see the projects which have 
been completed and those which are now on-going.  These will 
all lead to an increase in the national income and will 
provide more, and larger, opportunities for work and 
training, and thus we will gain more and new skills for the 
youth of Oman who are keen to take over different jobs in 
various fields of employment. 
We have a strong belief in the importance of the tourism 
sector, since it is an emerging industry at international 
level where it has become one of the main sources of revenue 
in many developed countries.  And because God has bestowed 
our country with an environment and geographical diversity, 
as well as other essential elements, that makes it a 
favorable tourist destination in the region, we took the 
decision to establish a Ministry of Tourism to administer 
this vital and important sector.  We hope that those who are 
in charge of its work will take the appropriate steps to 
expedite the implementation of the carefully studied 
procedures and steps which are necessary to development this 
sector in the near future, God willing.  This should be 
achieved through co-ordination with the other concerned 
government departments and the private sector. 
Dear Citizens,  We wish to underline in this important annual 
session the attention and emphasis we place on economic 
development and human resources in our dear motherland.  Our 
foreign policy is based, as you know, on certain fundamental 
principles which we have not deviated from; namely, that we 
always take sides with rightness, justice, and joint efforts 
with other peace-loving nations to settle international 
conflicts through dialogue and negotiations so that security 
and stability may prevail and all nations on earth will be 
able to reap the benefits thereof.  And on that basis, we 
call again for the lifting of the daily suffering endured by 
the Palestinian people and the need to give them the 
opportunity to achieve their goals and establish an 
independent state.  We also hope that the Arab states, whose 
lands are still under occupation, will be able to recover 
them and that security and stability may prevail in Iraq and 
prosperity and progress reign in our region and the whole 
world.  We also call for respect for international law and 
the principles and conventions upon which it is based, and 
for tolerance between communities and races. 
May God make this country secure and stable, protect it, and 
bestow on its people abundant fruits.  You are the hearer, 
the responder and able to do all things. End text.