The Indian Ambassador to Oman, Indra Mani Pandey, on Saturday hailed the strategic partnership between India and Oman.
Pandey told ANI, "We share a strategic partnership with Oman. Prime Minister Modi will meet with the King of Oman (Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said) and will discuss cooperation in defence and security matters. The main focus will be on counter-terrorism on the security front, while on the defence front, the issue will be on security in the Indian Ocean region. Oman is our trusted partner. We will discuss how to take this cooperation to a new level."
Delving into the details of the itinerary, Pandey said that Prime Minister Modi will address a strong gathering of 25,000 Indians at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. He will meet with prominent Omani businessmen and a select number of Indian businessmen who have made investments in Oman.
Expressing optimism that the scheduled programme on addressing gathering had excited the diaspora, Pandey said, "The Indian community had requested the Omani Government to schedule a programme on the gathering. There's lots of excitement. We have a large Indian community of around 0.8 million. Prime Minister Modi will address his ideas, points on the progress of development in India. The Prime Minister is also committed to the welfare of the community."
"Prime Minister Modi will address the community from a royal box, which is used by the Sultan. He will be the first ever foreign dignitary to address the community from the royal box. The addressing of the Indian community will be the first-of-its-kind in the history of Oman," he added.
After the address, the Prime Minister will receive Said Assad, the deputy Prime Minister of Oman, for internal cooperation and affairs. He is scheduled to meet the office of the council of ministers and the deputy Prime Minister of Oman, Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said.
The Indian envoy added that Oman was keen to diversify its economy and will look to India in key areas such as tourism, health, logistics, infrastructure, manufacturing, startups and entrepreneurs.
Prime Minister Modi will visit a 300-year old Shiva Temple and later the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the city.
The mosque, completed in 2001, is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone. The main musalla (prayer hall) of the mosque is square in shape, with a central dome rising to a height of fifty metres above the floor.
The Prime Minister will depart for New Delhi on Monday. He is currently in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates and will leave for Muscat later in the day.