The U.S. Senior State Department Official today announced that one of the reasons behind the visit of the U.S. delegation to Oman is clearly to thank the Sultan, to thank Oman, for their help in securing the release of the hikers from Oman – from Iran.
“As you know, Oman helped both with Sarah Shourd a year ago, as well as with Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer just a few weeks ago. So part of it is simply to express in person our appreciation, following up on the President’s phone call to the sultan after the hikers were released.” -Senior State Department Official
The Senior State Department Official also stated that the second theme for the upcoming stop in Oman is to follow up on the conversation that Secretary Clinton had with the sultan back in January about social and economic issues, about development and education.
“So part of this is a follow-up to her conversation about these issues with the sultan from back in January when she visited, but it’s taking on increasing importance because, of course, Oman itself had a series of social protests as part of the phenomenon of the Arab Spring. And these were social protests about job opportunities, economic opportunities, and the sultan has addressed these in a number of ways, including commitment for more job creation, a promise to provide some legislative authority to the advisory shura council, the council that was just elected on October 15th for it’s more recent term.” -SENIOR State Department Official
Senior State Department Official also highlighted that the visit to Oman are more the regional issues. Oman is one of six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The secretary will also be interested in the sultan’s views on Yemen.
“So three themes: thanks for the hikers; discussion of social and economic reforms in Oman to address challenges there; and third, regional issues primarily focused on the Gulf but not exclusively.” -Senior State Department Official