New Delhi, Dec 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Saturday adopted a vision document to shore up bilateral engagement in 10 key areas and agreed to push for sealing a comprehensive economic partnership agreement as early as possible, even as the two leaders emphasised the need for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Following “constructive” talks between Modi and the Omani ruler, the two sides announced the third tranche of USD 300 million (around Rs 2,500 crore) for the Oman-India joint investment fund, which is a 50-50 venture between the State Bank of India and the Oman Investment Authority to channelise investments into the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy. India and Oman also inked five agreements providing for cooperation in the fields of information technology, combating financial crimes, culture and establishing a Hindi chair of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in Oman. PM Modi and the Omani Sultan also discussed the situation arising out of the Hamas-Israel conflict, the challenge of terrorism as well as the larger need to try and achieve a two-state solution to the Palestine issue as a way forward, according to Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(“div-gpt-ad-6601185-5”); }); The two leaders also strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed that there cannot be any justification for any act of terror for any reason whatsoever, a joint statement said. Without making any specific references, the statement said India and Oman emphasised the need for all countries to abide by international law, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, and resolve conflicts peacefully through dialogue and diplomacy. The Sultan of Oman arrived in Delhi on a state visit on Friday – his first trip to India as the top leader of the influential Gulf nation. “They agreed that there cannot be any justification for any act of terror for any reason whatsoever. They affirmed their commitment to enhancing cooperation to combat terrorism and underscored the significance of fostering the universal values of peace, moderation, coexistence, and tolerance while highlighting the imperative of renouncing all types of violent extremism,” the joint statement said. It said both leaders also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and concerns and the two sides expressed a strong commitment to support endeavours that promote peace and stability globally and in the region. In his opening remarks at the delegation-level talks, Modi said India and Oman have had an “unbreakable bond of deep friendship” for centuries and the mutual closeness is not limited to geography only as trade between both sides spanned thousands of years. “On the strength of this glorious history, we are building a bright future ahead,” he said. “Today we are adopting a new ‘India-Oman Joint Vision ‘A Partnership for Future’. “In this Joint Vision, concrete action points have been agreed upon in 10 different areas. I am confident that this joint vision will give a new and modern shape to our partnership,” he said. Modi also referred to the ongoing negotiations on the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). “I am glad that discussions on the CEPA agreement are ongoing between the two sides. Two rounds of these talks have been successfully completed in which consensus has been reached on many important issues,” he said. “I hope that we will be able to sign this agreement soon, which will add a new chapter to our economic cooperation,” Modi added. The joint statements said the CEPA has the potential to “catapult’ the India-Oman partnership and achieve a higher growth trajectory that would align with the immense potential of ties. In his remarks, Modi also noted Oman qualifying for the 2024 T-20 cricket World Cup. “I congratulate you for this and wish you all the best.” On the investment fund, Foreign Secretary Kwatra said, at a media briefing, that it was started as a 50:50 joint venture between the SBI and Oman Investment Authority with the first tranche of USD 100 million and the second one of USD 200 million. Kwatra said the joint vision document encompassed the shared vision of the leadership of Oman and India and reflected the remarkable synergy between ‘Oman Vision 2040’ and India’s development objectives, under ‘Amrit Kaal’. According to the joint statement, the two leaders appreciated a proposal by India’s culture ministry to recreate a maritime voyage of a stitched ship, crafted with ancient knowhow in India. The tentative plan is for the ship to sail from the port of Mandvi in Gujarat to Muscat sometime in 2025- 26 followed by further voyages to other regions, it said. Describing the talks between Modi and the visiting leader as “comprehensive and constructive”, Kwatra said the India-Oman vision document focuses on building partnership in areas of maritime cooperation and connectivity, digital payments, space, green energy, tourism, agriculture, food security and cricket. The cooperation in clean energy will also focus on green hydrogen. There was also a discussion on the possibility of Oman utilising India’s digital payment system UPI with a corresponding Omani platform, besides exchange of views on trade in Rupee. To a question, Kwatra said the challenges arising out of the conflict in Gaza were definitely an important element of discussions. “There was a shared appreciation of the continuing challenge that both countries face from the emerging multiple dimensions of the conflict, including the catastrophic humanitarian situation which is there,” Kwatra said on the Hamas-Israel conflict. He said the challenge of terrorism and the larger need to try and achieve a two-state solution as a way forward was discussed. “With regard to the situation there, it was discussed and both leaders exchanged in detail their perspective of the situation there,” he said. Asked about Oman’s strategically located Duqm port and whether India is looking at it from a maritime security perspective, Kwatra did not give a direct reply but mentioned logistics cooperation. “You know, our cooperation in the maritime space is quite extensive. I also talked to you about the fact that both leaders identified humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. “And related to that aspect of disaster management as an important area of cooperation now, one of the key elements in maritime cooperation always is the question of logistics,” he said. “And I think Duqm in that sense provides us essentially a logistical base for cooperation between the two countries in the field of maritime cooperation, including humanitarian disaster relief,” he added. India and the Sultanate of Oman are strategic partners and the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two nations has been on an upswing in the last few years. (This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)

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