South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended condolences to the Sultanate of Oman following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, the country’s ruler for the past 50 years.
Sultan Qaboos, aged 70, died on 10 January 2020 after an undisclosed illness, the Presidency said.
On Monday, 13 January 2020, Ramaphosa stated that Sultan Qaboos would be remembered for the creation of a united, modern, progressive and prosperous Oman 49 years ago, which South Africa regards as a key international and regional partner.
South Africa and Oman established diplomatic relations in October 1995, the Presidency said, adding that during the last 25 years, several high-level visits between the two countries have taken place – including two state visits by the late President Nelson Mandela in 1999 and 2004.
The South Africa-Oman Partnership Forum has become the main vehicle for driving relations between the two countries in various areas of cooperation, including trade and investment, agriculture and higher education, the Office stated.
Several bilateral agreements have also been concluded, including a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation and a trade cooperation agreement.
Trade has increased dramatically since the conclusion of this agreement in 2006, reaching a record high in 2018 of US$1.2 billion.
“In this regard, President Ramaphosa hailed His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for the support given to South Africa in terms of its own political and economic development priorities,” the Presidency said.
Ramaphosa also paid tribute to the important and positive role that Oman played in the Middle East under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos as a regional mediator, his Office concluded.