Oil-rich Oman says it has signed an agreement with the United States that allows the use of its sea and airports by US warships and aircraft.
The deal gives America more control over the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic international waterway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman threatened by nearby Iran over tensions with other Gulf nations, including its main regional rival Saudi Arabia
“It 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 aircrafts, particularly in the port of Duqm,” the Oman Sultanate said in a statement on Sunday.
Duqm port is located in southern Oman on the Arabian Sea and around 500 kilometres from the Strait of Hormuz.
The agreement is viewed through an economic prism by Oman, which wants to develop Duqm while preserving its Switzerland-like neutral role in Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy.
The U.S. has a number of military bases across the Gulf – the largest in Qatar with about 10,000 troops.