The National - News

Deals on military, taxation and tourism signed as Oman’s Sultan Haitham visits Qatar


Sultan Haitham, Ruler of Oman, witnessed the signing of deals on military co-operation, taxation, tourism, ports, labour and investment in Doha yesterday at the start of a twoday visit to Qatar.

Sultan Haitham was met by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim at Doha Internatio­nal Airport. They later exchanged state honours.

Sheikh Tamim was given the Civil Order of Oman of the first degree, one of the highest Omani decoration­s granted to kings and heads of state whose countries have distinguis­hed relations with the sultanate.

In return, Sultan Haitham was presented with the Order of the Founder’s Sword, considered the highest Qatari honour.

The meeting was Sultan Haitham’s second foreign visit since ascending to the throne in January 2020. His first was to Saudi Arabia in July, where he met he King Salman and later accompanie­d Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on a visit to the Red Sea city of Neom.

Talks between Qatar and Oman will focus on investment co-operation as Oman looks to improve finances which have been hit by lower oil prices, its news agency reported.

The deals included an agreement on double taxation and tax evasion on income and capital taxes, and an investment co-operation agreement between sovereign wealth funds the Qatar Investment Authority and the Oman Investment Authority, said Amiri Diwan, from Sheikh Tamim’s administra­tive office.

An Omani official accompanyi­ng the delegation said maritime transport services to boost exports between the two countries through their ports were high on the agenda.

He also said the sides will talk about “the fields of agricultur­e, energy, communicat­ions, transport, and tourism, banking, and education”.

Officials from both sides will discuss foreign policy objectives and efforts to maintain regional peace and security to combat terrorism “within the frame work of Gulf Co-operation Council countries”.

“The Yemeni situation will also be on the agenda to find a peaceful solution,” the Omani official said, ”But the investment and projects discussion­s will be the highlight of the visit.”

This week, the countries announced the start of bus production from a joint investment in a plant in the central town of Duqm in Oman.

Karwa Motors is a joint venture between state-owned Mowasalat Qatar – which has a 70 per cent share – and Oman Investment Authority, which owns the remainder.

It will have capacity to produce 500 buses a year.

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