Oman–United States relations
Oman – United States relations are bilateral relations between Oman and the United States. The U.S. relationship with Oman dates back 200 years, with American merchant ships making port calls in Oman as early as 1790. Oman was the first Arab nation to recognize the United States, sending an envoy in 1841.1
The United States has maintained relations with the Sultanate since the early years of American independence. A treaty of friendship and navigation, one of the first agreements of its kind with an Arab state, was concluded between the United States and Muscat in 1833. This treaty was replaced by the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights signed at Salalah on December 20, 1958.
A U.S. consulate was maintained in Muscat from 1880 until 1915. Thereafter, U.S. interests in Oman were handled by U.S. diplomats resident in other countries. In 1972, the U.S. ambassador in Kuwait was accredited also as the first U.S. ambassador to Oman, and the U.S. embassy, headed by a resident charge d'affaires, was opened. The first resident U.S. ambassador took up his post in July 1974. The Oman embassy was opened in Washington, DC, in 1973.
U.S.-Omani relations were deepened in 1980 by the conclusion of two important agreements. One provided access to Omani military facilities by U.S. forces under agreed-upon conditions. The other agreement established a Joint Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation, located in Muscat, to provide U.S. economic assistance to Oman. The Joint Commission continued in existence until the mid-1990s. A Peace Corps program, which assisted Oman mainly in the fields of health and education, was initiated in 1973 and phased out in 1983. A team from the Federal Aviation Administration worked with Oman's Civil Aviation Department on a reimbursable basis but was phased out in 1992.
In March 2005, the U.S. and Oman launched negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement that were successfully concluded in October 2005. The FTA was signed on January 19, 2006, and is pending implementation.
In 1974 and April 1983, Sultan Qaboos of Oman made state visits to the United States. Vice President George H. Bush visited Oman in 1984 and 1986, and President Bill Clinton visited briefly in March 2000. Vice President Dick Cheney visited Oman in 2002, 2005, and 2006.
Principal U.S. officials include:
- Ambassador--Richard J. Schmierer
- Deputy Chief of Mission—Alfred F. Fonteneau
- Chief, Political/Economic Section—Eric Carlson
- Economic/Commercial Officer—Brian Grimm
- Public Affairs Officer—Robert Arbuckle
- Consular Chief—Bryce Isham
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