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Our correspondent

The Sultanate of Oman plans to join the club of spacefaring nations and will launch its first space satellite in 2024, according to HE Dr Said Hamoud Al Mawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology.

The announcement came ahead of the country’s 50th National Day on November 18. The minister said Oman’s plans began in 2006.

“We have to address the role of the private sector to this effect, and establish a company to launch the first satellite in 2024,” he said. “There are practical advantage for our national space programme, advanced technology, and artificial intelligence.”

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The minister said the Sultanate’s space programme is a key programme for his ministry, and will be announced in 2021.

“The Sultanate has accorded due care and attention to the transport, communications and information technology sector, led by late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour since the dawn of the blessed renaissance,” he revealed. “We are heading forward with the march of the renaissance under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.”

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Space cooperation between India and Oman

On the occasion of Oman’s National Day, HE Hamed Saif Abdul Aziz Al-Rawahi, Ambassador of Oman to India, had told an Indian daily that “Oman was one of the first countries in the Gulf region that exhibited an interest in forging space cooperation with India nearly a decade ago”. In February 2018, an MoU was signed on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, which would enable both sides to cooperate in space science, technology and applications, he said. Improved bilateral partnerships have seen India assisting in building Oman’s capabilities, including training and human resource development.