Oman Earns Recognition as Trusted Mediator

Responding to appeals by the governments of the United Kingdom, Indonesia, India and the Philippines, the Sultanate of Oman facilitated in April 2022 the release of 14 foreigners held hostage in Yemen.

The people freed were seven Indian nationals, three British, a Filipino, an Indonesian and a citizen of Myanmar. Some had been held in solitary confinement, mistreated, and denied visits by relatives.

“After communicating with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to facilitate the issuance of the necessary documents, the freed people were transferred from Sanaa to Muscat on an Oman Royal Air Force plane,” the Oman News Agency reported.

One of the British captives, Luke Symons, had been detained illegally without charge or trial since 2017. 

“I pay tribute to our Omani and Saudi partners and our team for securing his release,” announced Liz Truss, then-U.K. Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

Oman often serves as mediator in hostage negotiations and regional diplomacy. Its mediation was not limited to major crises such as Iranian nuclear development and the dispute between Gulf Cooperation Council member states, but also included smaller-scale crises.

The Sultanate, for instance, played an important role in the release of French aid worker Isabelle Prime in August 2015 after she was abducted in Sanaa several months earlier. 

Oman has also been negotiating with the Houthis to release four Yemeni journalists sentenced to death by the militia in February 2022, about whom Yemen’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Moammar al-Eryani said:

“The Houthi militia continues to forcibly hide journalists Abdul-Khaleq Omran, Tawfiq al-Mansoori, Harith Hamid, and Akram al-Walidi for seven years, in harsh detention conditions and deprivation of rights and healthcare, and after they suffer various types of psychological and physical torture, they were sentenced to death on trumped-up charges.” Sources: Reuters, CNN, Al Jazeera

Comments are closed.