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Royal Decree

Royal Decree 59/2019 Ratifying the Comprehensive Agreement on Enduring Friendship and Bilateral Cooperation between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

2019/59 59/2019

Arabic

We, Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan of Oman

after perusal of the Basic Statute of the State promulgated by Royal Decree 101/96,

and the Comprehensive Agreement on Enduring Friendship and Bilateral Cooperation between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland signed in London on 22 May 2019,

and in pursuance of public interest,

have decreed as follows

Article I

The aforementioned agreement is hereby ratified in the form attached.

Article II

This decree shall be published in the Official Gazette, and comes into force on the date of its issuance.

Issued on: 4 Safar 1441
Corresponding to: 3 October 2019

Qaboos bin Said
Sultan of Oman

Published in Official Gazette 1312 issued on 6 October 2019.

COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT ON ENDURING FRIENDSHIP
AND BILATERAL COOPERATION

BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SULTANATE OF OMAN AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman (Oman) and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)

Recognising the historic relationship between them, and their wishes to continue and develop these deep and historic ties of reciprocal friendship and shared vision,

Reaffirming the enduring commitment of friendship and bilateral relations through comprehensive cooperation, and acknowledging their shared interest in supporting regional and global peace, security and stability, by upholding the principles of international law and universal human rights,

Noting the Joint Defence Agreement signed on 21 February 2019 and our commitment to mutual security,

Committing to the further development and enhancement of cooperation between them, in all areas of mutual interest,

Both countries have jointly decided the following:

SECTION (1)
PURPOSE

This Agreement, which follows our Joint Declaration of 1 March 2019, will be known as the Comprehensive Agreement on Enduring Friendship and Bilateral Cooperation.

It acknowledges, as the foundation of this cooperation, the enduring commitment between the two countries that has underpinned our cooperation for centuries. It celebrates what has been jointly achieved and aims to nurture friendship, understanding and cooperation between future generations across all sectors.

This will be accomplished in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and customs of the two countries and will be based on the principle of mutual benefit and prosperity.

SECTION (2)
AREAS OF COOPERATION

Both countries will cooperate in the following areas:

Bilateral and International Relations: The two countries will continue to ensure dialogue at all appropriate levels of Government to identify areas for closer cooperation and mutual understanding to elevate longstanding bilateral relations in all fields.

This will be achieved by:

– Widening and deepening existing inter-agency bilateral strategic dialogues, to include regular exchanges of visits by Ministers and senior officials, which may include all relevant Government departments of both countries, which will address key regional and international issues and topics of mutual interest, and which will involve both countries working together to support and uphold the rules-based international system.

– Deepening institutional links between respective Government departments by identifying areas for closer collaboration, exploring exchanges of visits by officials and non-Government experts, sharing relevant training and continuing to work towards reciprocal arrangements in areas such as protocol and provisions for officials overseas.

– Working together through the institutions of the United Nations to optimise its performance, particularly supporting the swift and effective implementation of the reform agenda with the ultimate goal of achieving and maintaining global peace and security.

Defence: The two countries will enhance historic and existing defence ties through broader and deeper defence cooperation to provide mutual support and security in accordance with the Joint Defence Agreement of 21 February 2019.

This will be achieved by:

– Supporting the full implementation of civilian military learning experiences gained from Shumoukh 2 and Saif Sareea 3 (SS3) in 2018, as well as all future joint programmes and exercises.

– The countries will seek coherence between this Agreement and the Joint Defence Agreement which requires cross Government working on implementation.

Security: The countries will continue to share information, subject to the requirements of both countries’ domestic and international legal obligations, to support international and regional peace and stability and to eliminate security threats. They will share expertise to enhance the resilience and security of information and communication technologies. They will work together to develop institutions and security frameworks in accordance with best international practices and norms.

This will be achieved by:

– Assisting and sharing expertise on policing to tackle terrorism and serious organised crime, including narcotics and human trafficking; as well as supporting the judicial and legal practices of the Public Prosecution, Judiciary and relevant Ministries to ensure the protection of, and respect for, the rule of law and human rights.

– Expanding the relationship between the Security Agencies in both countries on risk identification and mitigation.

– Sharing best practice and offering support in civil contingency planning, in support of cross Government approaches.

– Maintaining support for the development of cross Government strategic communications.

– Deepening cooperation on cyber security and sharing expertise in developing secure and resilient information management and communications technology.

– With due consideration to domestic and international legal obligations, seeking to share best practice and technical cooperation in space and aviation (including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), maritime and border security.

– Enhancing capabilities to address cross-border threats that affect both countries’ national security, including through law enforcement and coordination on counter-terrorism.

– Continuing to share information in accordance with legal obligations to support international peace and stability and sharing expertise to enhance the resilience and security of information.

Economy, Growth and Prosperity: The two countries will support the development of resilient, sustainable and dynamic economies through a strong partnership designed to achieve mutual benefits through increased investment and bilateral trade. They will support each other’s long term economic visions to create open and competitive economies and effective, skilled and diverse workforces in order to facilitate the development of favourable conditions for trade and investment, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). They will work together to encourage market access (between the two countries and domestically), cooperation in banking and financial services and public-private commercial arrangements.

This will be achieved by:

– Sharing information and best practice on the creation of effective and resilient economic structures and institutions; establishing a placement scheme to embed experts in relevant institutions to support sustainable economic development and reforms.

– Establishing cooperation between experts and institutions on issues such as effective governance, legislative process, dispute resolution, competition law, debt management, budget management and public finance, and reforms to boost the private sector.

– Working together with international financial institutions as and when appropriate.

– Working with private sector partners, including SMEs, to encourage entrepreneurship and identify commercial opportunities in both countries to support an increase in bilateral trade and investment, and the expansion of employment opportunities.

– Actively encouraging offset collaboration with key UK companies to develop sustainable investments in industries and human capital reflecting the strategic visions of both countries.

– Identifying key sectors for collaboration in order to build on the fundamentals of Oman’s Vision 2040, including fisheries, manufacturing, mining and tourism.

– Working together to draw more effectively on the experience and expertise of existing Omani and UK business associations in delivering Vision 2040.

– Developing further partnerships in the field of energy, including the oil and gas sector and renewable sources of energy.

– Developing further cooperation in the field of health, including the creation of specialist hospitals and services, and advice on developing agile and efficient services.

– Establishing greater access to educational institutions, identifying suitable training programmes and supporting education reforms and curricular modernisation to build towards an effective, diverse and skilled workforce.

– Promoting the UK’s university and higher education offering and exploring models for the recognition of transferable qualifications.

– Developing further cooperation in the field of scientific research, innovation and technology and to encourage knowledge transfer.

– Working together on protocols to improve regulatory frameworks, including but not limited to best practices for market access, and dispute resolution for the encouragement of trade, investment and the movement of skilled workers in both directions as well as within their respective domestic economies.

– Supporting and assisting Oman’s development as a regional logistics hub through the improvement of infrastructure, including urban transport, and identifying opportunities for public-private commercial arrangements.

– Exchanging experience and expertise on public sector reform.

Culture and People-to-People Exchanges: The two countries will work together to promote mutual understanding between our people with a focus on future generations.

This will be achieved by:

– Promoting Oman and the UK as destinations of choice for business, investment, innovation, learning and education; supporting interuniversity engagement and reinforcing alumni networks.

– Working together to promote the development of professional associations, sport, tourism, art, and music, and supporting cultural engagement through exchange visits by young people.

– Promoting and supporting the work of the Anglo Omani Society (patron His Majesty the Sultan), including the New Generation Group; as well as, the British Council in Oman, the Oman British Friendship Association and the Omani British Lawyers Association.

– Encouraging the work of Outward Bound Oman by supporting the cultural connectivity programmes it offers for young people throughout the world.

– Developing cooperation between media organisations and journalism professionals.

– Developing regular discussions between State bodies at all levels, including youth projects, local administration and parliamentary institutions.

– Working together to promote the wellbeing and welfare of nationals of both countries when they travel between Oman and the UK, including deepening cooperation in the provision of consular services, facilitating consular access, and facilitating the issue of visas.

SECTION (3)
IMPLEMENTATION AND TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT

This Agreement will be implemented by the Joint Working Group, chaired at Ministerial level by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and, as necessary, subcommittees may be established for this purpose as well as the clear implementation mechanisms.

The implementation of this Agreement will not have an impact on any other existing Agreements either country has.

Oman and the UK will respect one another’s laws, regulations, customs and traditions.

SECTION (4)
SETTLEMENT OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS

Any misunderstanding between the two countries arising from the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement will be settled amicably through mutual consultations and will not be referred to any national or international tribunal or third party.

SECTION (5)
VALIDITY AND AMENDMENTS

Upon signature, this Agreement will come into effect immediately. It will be reviewed every 10 years and, unless terminated in writing by either side, will be renewed automatically.

This Agreement can be amended subject to mutually written agreement by both countries.

This Agreement is signed on the 22nd of May 2019 in two original copies (Arabic and English).

For the Government of
the Sultanate of Oman

 

His Excellency Yousuf bin Alawi
bin Abdullah
Minister Responsible for Foreign
Affairs

For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland

 

The Rt. Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs