Viewing cable 04MUSCAT2285
Title: INDIA WINS OMANI SUPPORT FOR UNSC SEAT, DEEPENS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04MUSCAT22852004-12-29 07:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 002285 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SA/INS, NEA, NEA/ARPI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2014 
TAGS: PREL ETRD EPET KCRM MARR IN MU
SUBJECT: INDIA WINS OMANI SUPPORT FOR UNSC SEAT, DEEPENS 
TIES 
 
REF: NEW DELHI 8053 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard L. Baltimore III. 
Reason: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (U) On December 25-26, Indian Minister of External Affairs 
Natwar Singh met with Sultan Qaboos and various government 
ministers to boost bilateral relations.  Oman formally 
announced its backing of India's bid for a permanent seat on 
the UN Security Council, and the two parties pledged to 
continue joint naval exercises.  During the brief visit, both 
countries signed a landmark treaty of extradition, reviewed 
opportunities for increasing India's presence in the oil and 
gas sector, and discussed further cooperation in the areas of 
information technology, trade and investment, and labor. 
Singh's stay ended with the much anticipated groundbreaking 
of the new Indian Embassy next door to the U.S. mission.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
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THE INSIDE SCOOP 
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¶2. (C) In a December 27 meeting with the Ambassador, Minister 
Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi (YBA) 
characterized Indian Minister of External Affairs Natwar 
Singh's visit as having gone "very well."  Bin Alawi said 
Singh was extremely positive on Indo-U.S. relations and the 
course of confidence building with Pakistan, noting that 
Singh was looking forward to the meeting of the Indian and 
Pakistani PM's at the South Asian Summit in January.  Bin 
Alawi confirmed that Oman had formally pledged to support 
India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. 
On a minor note, the Minister said a diplomatic dinner 
scheduled for Christmas in Singh's honor was canceled in 
mourning for the death of former Indian PM Narasimha Rao. 
 
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COOPERATION ABOUNDS 
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¶3. (U) On December 25, the Indian minister met with Sultan 
Qaboos to deepen bilateral relations and reaffirm India's 
commitment to peace and stability in the region.  Oman 
expressed interest in India's information technology, 
pharmaceuticals, and bio-technology sectors.  Reaching a 
milestone in their bilateral relations, the two countries 
signed a treaty of extradition.  Moreover, Oman participated 
fully in the 50th anniversary celebrations of India's 
diplomatic presence in Oman. 
 
¶4. (U) Singh and Commerce and Industry Minister Maqbool bin 
Ali Sultan focused on increasing trade and investment, both 
bilaterally and regionally, including building further on the 
success of the $1 billion joint venture Oman-India Fertilizer 
project and resolving outstanding labor issues.  In a 
subsequent meeting with Sayyid Badr bin Saud al-Busaidi, 
Minister Responsible for Defense Affairs, the two parties 
reviewed ongoing defense ties, particularly the continuation 
of joint naval exercises and increased training of Omanis in 
Indian defense institutions. 
 
¶5. (U) In his meeting with Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad al-Romhi, 
Minister of Oil and Gas, Singh sought to collaborate more 
closely in the extractive industries sector.  Much of the 
talk centered around enhancing India's presence in the 
hydrocarbon sector of Oman, primarily through onshore and 
offshore exploration for oil and gas and the provision of 
services and supplies for current drilling operations.  In a 
brief meeting with Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq, Minister of 
Heritage and Culture, Singh discussed potential avenues to 
further bilateral cultural understanding, including 
undertaking joint research of archival documents and 
publications on the historical ties between the two 
countries.  Finally, the two nations signed a memo of 
understanding between the State Audit Institution of Oman and 
the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for cooperation 
in audit matters. 
 
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NEW NEIGHBORS 
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¶6. (SBU) The Minister's program culminated in the much 
anticipated groundbreaking of the new Indian Embassy.  The 
future chancery will include the ambassador's residence as 
well as a 500-seat multipurpose auditorium for cultural and 
social occasions.  Yusuf bin Alawi was in attendance as 
Minister Singh laid the cornerstone in the final hours of his 
whirlwind visit. YBA said Singh was buoyant at the notion of 
putting India's mission in the vacant lot immediately between 
the U.S. and UK embassies, amongst the "Superpowers."  Bin 
Alawi said he did not have the heart to tell Singh that 
Turkey will eventually build a new embassy between the 
Indians and UK. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶7. (C) While intemperate Omanis are still occasionally heard 
to grumble about the "Hindu" presence among the resident 
expatriate community, Indo-Omani relations are quite strong 
(reftel) and appear to be deepening.  From Oman's 
perspective, India is more than simply a source of cheap 
manual labor.  Rather, it is increasingly a source of foreign 
direct investment in the expanding gas-fed industries, as 
well as a ready market for fertilizer and other future Omani 
exports.  Oman also banks on India's IT expertise for local 
human resource development, with an increasing number of 
formal relationships between technical training institutes. 
And despite Oman's close historical connections to Pakistan 
(primarily Baluchistan), the Sultanate does not shy away from 
military linkages to New Delhi or supporting India's bid for 
a UNSC seat. 
BALTIMORE