US Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said on Monday at Bait al Barka Palace in Muscat, Oman, to explore ways to further strengthen the two nations’ defense relationship, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement.
The two leaders also discussed how to best achieve a resolution to Yemen’s civil war, White said.
Oman contributes to regional security efforts by playing a key role in Gulf Cooperative Council counterterrorism efforts and ensuring freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, she said.
Mattis also met with Omani Defense Minister Sayyid Badr al Busaidi yesterday in Oman to discuss bilateral defense ties and regional issues including the Yemen’s civil war and GCC relations, White said.
Mattis highlighted Oman’s role as a vital regional security partner and explored new ways to strengthen U.S.-Omani bilateral defense cooperation, White said.
The U.S.-Omani partnership is one of the oldest in the region, she said, inaugurated by an 1833 treaty in support of friendship and navigation. The U.S. and Oman have maintained close defense ties since signing a military cooperation agreement in 1980.