BRUSSELS, Sept 20 (KUNA) -- The first Senior Official Meeting between the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU's foreign service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman was held in Brussels on Thursday.
According to an EEAS press release late Thursday, the meeting was co- chaired by EEAS Secretary-General, Helga Schmid, and the Omani Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Issa Al-Harithy.
The meeting launched the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement between the EEAS and Oman signed on 20 September 2018 during the official visit to Brussels of Omani foreign minister Yusuf bin Allawi bin Abdullah.
The meeting provided an opportunity to hold high-level political consultations between the EEAS and Oman and discuss, in particular, latest regional development including the rise of tensions in the Gulf and on ways to urgently promote de-escalation, it noted.
"The two sides had a fruitful dialogue on Yemen, which besides being the world's gravest humanitarian crisis, remains a source of regional instability, and converged on the need to redouble their efforts in support of the UN-led process," it said.
Moreover, the consultations included exchanges on the Horn of Africa and maritime security, the Middle East Peace Process, the situation in Iraq and the crisis in Syria.
The EEAS expressed appreciation for Oman's "constructive role in the region, and both sides agreed to work jointly towards fostering regional stability and prosperity."
In addition to political consultations, the EEAS and the services of the European Commission also held exchanges with representatives of a number of ministries and governmental bodies from Oman.
The topics covered included trade and investment, energy, education, research, vocational training and technology. This meeting provided an occasion to lay out the EU's and Oman's priorities in these areas and explore ways to enhance bilateral cooperation through concrete initiatives and projects.
A second Senior Officials' Meeting between the EU and Oman will be held in 2020 in Muscat, Oman.(end)