Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Planning Rare Visit to Nearby Oman
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince plans to make his first trip to neighboring Oman in the coming weeks, according to two people familiar with the matter, another sign of warming ties between the two Gulf states.
The visit by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, will be his second foray abroad since the coronavirus pandemic began, after a brief trip to Egypt earlier this year.
The world’s largest crude exporter long had a cool relationship with Oman over its cordial ties with Iran, but it’s grown closer over the past year. That offers a potential economic boon for Oman, which is struggling to diversify away from oil. The death last year of Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who ruled for five decades, opened an opportunity for change. Oman’s new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, traveled to Saudi Arabia earlier this year on his first official foreign trip.
Omani officials had long cultivated a careful neutrality between the kingdom and its leading rival, Iran, in a volatile region.
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