In the midst of a series of diplomatic crises in the Gulf region, Oman stands out as a widely-respected regional mediator. The small country has remained neutral and facilitated economic transactions between Qatar and other GCC countries. The Sultanate has used its balanced relationships with all of the major parties both within and outside Yemen to work towards resolving the Yemen conflict. While managing these delicate diplomatic tensions, Oman has also led working groups in China and India on bilateral economic ties as well as maintained cordial relations with Iran.
What is Oman’s role in promoting diplomacy, security and stability in the Gulf? What are the domestic conversations inside Oman regarding the Sultanate’s role in the region? What are the prospects for Oman’s growing economic ties in the region and around the world?
The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi, secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman, to address these pressing questions about Oman’s future. Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein, MEI’s director for Gulf affairs and government relations, will moderate the discussion.
Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi
Secretary general, Ministery of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman
Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi is secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman. He joined the ministry in 1988 and was appointed ambassador in 1995; undersecretary in 2000; and secretary-general, with the rank of minister, in 2007. In one of his first tasks, Busaidi established the Office for Political Analysis to provide systematic assessment and policy analysis of key international and regional issues. Busaidi also played an active role in the water working group of the multilateral phase of the negotiations, which led to the establishment of the Middle East Desalination Research Center in Oman, an international institution that is the only remaining operational institution founded during the peace process and for which Busaidi still serves as founding chairman. Busaidi also initiated negotiations with the United States on labor law issues in 1993, which subsequently led to Omani membership in the World Trade Organization in 2000 and the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement in 2006. In 2016, he led an initiative addressing challenges to Oman’s monetary position in light of regional economic challenges
Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein
Director, Gulf affairs and government relations
Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein is director for Gulf affairs and government relations at MEI. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.