The Philippine Embassy in Muscat held an Independence Day diplomatic reception highlighted by the presence of Oman’s highest-ranking career diplomat, H.E. SayyidBadr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Joselito A. Jimeno reiterated the strengthening bilateral relations between the Philippines and Oman as evidenced by the opening of the Oman embassy in Manila in July of this year. With over 40,000 OFWs in the sultanate, Ambassador Jimenostated that commitment is high by both countries to expand relations beyond cooperation on human resources.
He cited the first informal bilateral consultations held in Muscat last year and the second round of talks planned in Manila in the fourth quarter of 2013, the signing of the agreement between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), the start of direct flights between Muscat and Manila by Oman Air, and the forthcoming signing of the cultural agreement and MOU on political consultations between the respective foreign affairs ministries.
In his remarks, the Secretary General appreciated the contribution of Filipino nationals in the Sultanate of Oman. “Filipinos are hardworking, friendly, and peaceful people.” He also confirmed the opening of the Oman embassy in Manila.
The evening culminated with the launch of the book and art exhibit by young children of OFWs in the Middle East, “Art as Reality: The Transition of Filipino Migrant Children in the Middle East”.
(Photo credits: Ralph Bagares, Isidore Vic Carloman III and VenecioDatan)