The Oman News Agency announced that, "With God's will and success, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq (may God protect and safeguard him) begins today a two-day official visit to the brotherly Kingdom of Bahrain, at the kind invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain." Meanwhile, the Bahrain News Agency noted that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa "will be leading the future of his brother, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, the brother Sultan of Oman and the accompanying delegation upon his arrival in the country today, Monday."
The Bahraini agency added that "the visit of the Sultan of Oman to the Kingdom stems from the strong bilateral relations that bind the two countries and in order to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and strong ties and the ties of kinship and love that bind their two brotherly peoples."
This is Sultan Haitham's first visit to Manama since he took the throne in January 2020, succeeding the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who throughout his career in power, made few visits to the Kingdom, the last of which was in June 2010, while his first visit dates back to 1985. During his visit, Sultan Haitham will discuss ways to stimulate cooperation between the two countries in a manner that serves their interests and aspirations and achieves future prosperity.
Since taking office in January 2020, Haitham has shown interest in forging closer ties with the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which, in addition to Oman, comprises the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
The talks will focus on boosting ties between the two countries in all domains. During the visit, Sultan Haitham will be accompanied by a high-level official delegation including the Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs, as well as the Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs and Finance.
Such policies have resulted in a clear growth in trade relations and have opened up new areas of cooperation in relations with the Gulf bloc. Observers believe that the meeting carries an encouraging message about the Sultanate's relations with Iran. Bahrain considers Iran a serious threat to its national security, essentially after reports revealed that Tehran was involved in destabilising the small Gulf kingdom in recent years, taking advantage of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings.
On the other hand, Oman has had very close relations with Iran since the era of the late Sultan Qaboos, and Sultan Haitham was keen to build and strengthen them, in parallel with his openness to closer ties with the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Al Kaabi also said that the Bahraini people are looking forward to the Sultan's visit because they see prosperity in the agreements that will be formalised to improve trade relations and sustainable development. Bahrain's Ambassador to Oman Jumaa Al Kaabi said on Sunday that Sultan Haitham's visit to the Kingdom will open new horizons for contribution between the two nations and strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two states.
The two countries are linked by joint investments traded between more than 876 companies in trade, construction, transport, services and other fields. The Oman-Bahrain Investment Holding Company is currently being established, which will enhance investments in the two countries, especially in the food security sector, and the target sectors of "Oman Vision 2040" and "Bahrain Vision 2030".
Oman's Ambassador to Manama, Faisal bin Hareb Al Busaidi, told Oman News Agency that Sultan Haitham's visit aims to work on developing economic cooperation, in addition to strengthening relations in all diplomatic, cultural and scientific fields and exchanging experiences, and the visit will witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding.