His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, deputy prime minister for the Council of Ministers, hailed the content of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s speech during the opening session of the Council of Oman yesterday. In a statement to reporters, Sayyid Fahd said that the cooperation between the Council of Oman and the Council of Ministers is not limited as it covers all domains. The Council of Ministers always seeks to activate the role of both the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, which have powers but need to be activated, he added. “All state institutions maintain cooperation with the Council of Oman. I hope the concept towards the Council of Oman should be comprehensive and not to be focused on certain wilayat or region.
As for women not winning at the Majlis Al Shura elections, Sayyid Fahd said the elections reflect the will of the citizens who select the right candidate who can serve the national interests. The role of women in society cannot be ignored and we hope that the Omani woman will get her suitable place in the future. As for the development of Majlis Al Shura, Sayyid Fahd said that the government is aware that Majlis Al Shura has wide authorities. The Majlis Al Shura should focus on developing the current laws to cope with the development taking place in all domains in the Sultanate, he continued. Sayyid Fahd said that an education strategy would be published soon. Education is part of the interest of all Omanis.
Therefore, we should identify the cadres to cope with the development taking place in the society. The education output should be capable of facing life. The focus should not be on getting a certificate without having an idea on the quality of education provided by such college or university. Youth should not waste their time, money and effort by studying at institutions, which do not provide high quality education, he furthered. As for the price hike in the Sultanate this year, Sayyid Fahd said that the Council of Ministers will meet to discuss this issue which is the byproduct of some international forces. We do not want to repeat the same as citizens may believe that we are not making endeavours to find possible solutions for the price hike issue. The consumption pattern of us may be good in certain areas but need more improvements on other areas. We don’t blame certain party but as a government we should identify solutions that may help the citizens. Sayyid Fahd hailed the role of the Omani media which is supported by His Majesty the Sultan and all concerned officials in the state. The Omani media has wise stance and provides objective criticism that focuses on meeting the needs of the citizens. The personal capacities play an important role in media, he added. Answering a question on democracy, Sayyid Fahd said: “You cannot find a place that respects personal freedom and rights as we do here especially we say what we believe in and we have one standard policy.
If democracy, in some places means chaos, we do not need such democracy as it will ruin our nation and waste our resources and efforts. The real democracy is the one, which respects the person, his personal views and try to develop him. “The respect for the values of democracy emanates from the respect the Omani citizen receives at his country. If you respect the person and tried to develop him, he will pay such respect back to you. (I agree with this statement).
The distinguished respect the Omanis get when they visit Qatar is a very good example of this,” he furthered. As for the next AGCC Summit in Doha, Sayyid Fahd said that shifting the venue of the summit from the Sultanate to Qatar was due to the adverse weather conditions which somehow affected the Sultanate and not because of any other reason. Our brothers in Qatar welcomed hosting the summit. The Sultanate has overcome the damage caused by the adverse weather conditions and can now host any conference. The Sultanate will host the AGCC Summit following the Doha Summit, he added. AGCC members states are like one family which is affected by the events taking place in the world. Although issues like inflation, low pan AGCC trade volume, custom tariffs and unified GCC currency are pending issues, still we are coherent and share the same destiny, he said.
As for the GCC Unified Currency, Sayyid Fahd said that the initiative lacks enthusiasm not only from the Sultanate but also from other member states. I am sure that no single AGCC member state is trying to ensure turning such a scheme into reality at the proposed deadline. “We are not against the Unified AGCC Currency but a number of issues and conditions do not allow us to join such issue. We hope we give such issue the required care and do not do anything at haste, he continued. As for Yemen joining AGCC member states, Sayyid Fahd said Yemen is a brotherly country, important to countries of the region and represents a strategic depth for the AGCC member states. Yemen has some laws and regulations that should be updated to cope with the AGCC member states laws and regulations. This doesn’t mean that Yemen is not supported by the AGCC because it participates actively in a number of activities. The Sultanate maintains distinguished relations with Yemen, he furthered.
As for the regional conditions, Sayyid Fahd said that ‘although the regional conditions are not stable, the Sultanate, under the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan, adopts a quiet policy in dealing with developments in the region. The Sultanate has distinguished relations with the neighbouring countries. The Sultanate has distinguished relations with Iran and I hope that such dispute between Iran and the international community will end peacefully as understanding will help the region in avoiding the negative impacts of such conflict. As for the situation in Iraq, Sayyid Fahd said that the situation in Iraq is worrying and needs collaboration of all countries to help the Iraqi people overcome their internal strive. Countries of the world should find means to assist the Iraqi people in ensuring peaceful coexistence without looking at the radical sectarian issues, which the Sultanate doesn’t believe in. As for the conference promoted by the US and scheduled to be held next Autumn in Annapolis, Sayyid Fahd said that he believes that if such conference aims at rapprochement of view points and prepare for a better platform to solve the Palestinian issue, then it is good. We call upon all Palestinians to rally their ranks, maintain dialogue among different factions. “Using forums for conducting debates among rival factions I believe will not solve the Palestinian cause as it should be solved internally, thus providing better convictions for solving the remaining issues.
I have always admired Oman located in the Middle East (for those unsure) regarding their advancement in technology, education, and quality of life in the Gulf region. I admire them for the important role women are playing out in this country. Despite misconceptions about Middle Eastern countries portrayed here in the states, I feel that Oman is a prime example of cooperation and peace within this tumultuous region. Though any country on this planet is not perfect, I find that the oil resources and stamina of this nation’s leader and the will of its people to do well and be a peaceful neighbor in this region IS an illustrious example of how to get along with one’s neighbors.