The National quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on Oman’s National Day and trade relations.

Today, Oman is a quiet and peaceful state that maintains friendly ties with a wide range of countries. Omanis are proud of the sultan’s diplomatic efforts that, as Nasser pointed out, made the “connection” that allowed the United States and Iran to restart talks over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

“Oman is a nation that has historically relied on trade, so it dealt with various other peoples,” said Bilal Saab of the Washington DC-based Atlantic Council, who recently met Omani officials in Muscat.

“You simply cannot trade and have external relations when you don’t have an open mind and tolerant approach, you have to appreciate the other,” Mr Saab said, describing how the sultan’s diplomatic abilities were a result of Oman’s geographic setting at the intersection of the Indian Ocean and Middle East.

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