• Short Summary

    The Shah of Iran and Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman have pledged???to co-operate closely?

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    The Shah of Iran and Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman have pledged???to co-operate closely in protecting oil routes and maintaining their struggle against internal subversion. Their agreement was made public in a joint communique at the end of the Shah's four-day state visit to Oman.

    SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday (7 December) the Shah visited Nizwa, one of the oldest towns in Oman, where large crowds gathered to greet him. Sultan Qaboos accompanied his royal visitor on a tour of the town, which included a look at the old fort. Nizwa is historically linked with the training of religious leaders of the Moslem faith common to both Iran and Oman. Before leaving for Nizwa, the two rulers held talks which Omani sources say were centred on Gulf security and economic co-operation.

    From Nizwa, the royal party drove off into the wild surrounding mountains, where a desert encampment had been set up in the Shah's honour. Omani sources quoted by Reuters news agency said that, in his discussions with the Shah, Sultan Qaboos would probably stress what was described as the 'potential threat' to Oman from neighbouring Marxist South Yemen.

    According to Reuters, Omani intelligence reports say new Soviet military facilities have recently been established in Aden.

    Even out in the desert, enjoying the best of traditional Arab hospitality, security surrounding the Shah was intense, and cameramen covering the visit reported that they were forcibly restrained form approaching closer than 15 yards (metres) from the Shah's tent. Even during the feast, the serious business of the visit continued as the neighbouring rulers kept up their political discussions. In 1975, Iranian troops helped the sultan's forces in crushing a communist rebellion in Oman's southern province of Dhofar.

    From Nizwa, the Shah returned to the Omani capital of Muscat, where the final ceremonies of the state visit took place on Thursday (8 December). In their joint communique, the two leaders expressed their firm belief in the need for continuing co-operation to safeguard international shipping in the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf area.

    The Shah and the Sultan are reported to have said prayers together for a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis and the Shah expressed his admiration for the progress Oman has made in social, economic and cultural development.

    Before his guest left, Sultan Qaboos accepted an invitation to make a return visit to Iran at a date to be announced in the near future.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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