United States clinchs a strategic port deal with Oman
The United States has recently clinched a strategic port deal with Oman that allow American ships and warplanes to take advantage of two Arabian Sea ports of Duqm and Salalah located near strategic Strait of Hormuz. The framework agreement is aimed at bolstering Omani-American military relations. With this pact, the US military will have better access to Gulf region and will reduce the need to send ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a maritime choke point off Iran. The agreement will allow the US forces to take advantage from the facilities offered at some of the Sultanate’s ports and airports during visits of the US military vessels and aircraft. These two Omani ports – Duqm and Salalah are located just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow outlet through which about a 5th of the world’s oil trade exits the Persian Gulf. The Port of Duqm is located on the south-eastern seaboard of Oman, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The narrow waterway is also an international transit route where American forces routinely pass and which has seen tense encounters between them and Iranian forces in the past.