This will be his first visit to the Gulf country as MoS

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be undertaking an official visit to Oman on December 16-17, 2020.

During the visit, he will be meeting the Foreign Minister of Oman, Labour Minister as well as other ministers.

He will also be interacting with a broad cross-section of the Indian community and the newly formed Oman-India Friendship Association.

The MoS will be meeting the representatives of Indian Social Club, social workers, medical and education professionals and yoga organizations.

During the visit, the MoS will hold talks on various bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

He will particularly focus on issues related to the Indian community. Oman hosts more than 600,000 Indians. Both countries have worked together to face the Covid-19 pandemic and for orderly repatriation of Indians from Oman under the Vande Bharat Mission.

India also ensured that supply chains for food and other essential items functioned smoothly and facilitated return of health professionals to Oman.

Flights are operational between both countries under an air bubble arrangement. Oman has also recently announced that Indians will be exempted from entry visas for visiting Oman for a period of ten days.

India and Oman are linked by geography, history and culture and enjoy warm and cordial relations. Both countries share a strategic partnership and have maintained close high-level contacts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on telephone with Haitham Bin Tarik, Sultan of Oman in April 2020.

EAM S Jaishankar had a virtual meeting with the Foreign Minister of Oman on December 2, 2020. India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held virtually in October 2020 with participation at Ministerial level from Ministries of Commerce from both countries.