Page Image Image CaptionDr. Fang Liu, the Secretary General of ICAO, conducted a high-level bilateral meeting with His Royal Highness Asa'ad bin Tariq al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan of Oman, on the strategic importance of aviation within national development plans. Page ContentHis Royal Highness Asa'ad bin Tariq al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan of Oman, outlined the Government of Oman’s structural and integral positioning of aviation within its national strategic planning for development at a high-level bilateral meeting with Dr. Fang Liu, the Secretary General of ICAO. He furthermore expressed his appreciation for ICAO’s contributions to the enhancement of the safety and sustainability of aviation worldwide. Oman’s prioritisation of air connectivity as a lever for development reflects international recognition of aviation’s crucial socio-economic contributions at a global level, notably in terms of the achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and is aligned with the guidance ICAO is delivering to its 191 member States. The meeting was attended by Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Za'abi, CEO of Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation, and Mr. Mohamed Khalifa Rahma, ICAO’s Middle East Regional Director. The Secretary General also met with His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al Futaisi, Oman’s Minister of Transport and Communication. At this occasion, Dr. Liu affirmed ICAO’s support of Oman’s initiatives to enhance the capacities and sustainability of its aviation sector. She highlighted the relevance of ICAO’s Next Generation of Aviation Professionals in a context of growth, and urged Oman to continue pursuing its objectives. Dr. Liu also pointed to ICAO’s traveller identification programme as a critical example of the support offered by the UN agency for civil aviation in the area of security, and encouraged Oman to join the Public Key Directory, a tool that enables States to verify the information held on ICAO compliant ePassports, a suggestion that was well received by Oman’s Minister Dr. Ahmed Al Futaisi. Dr. bin Nasser al Za'abi personally illustrated the depth of Oman’s commitment to ICAO compliant air connectivity as a means for facilitating growth by way of an engaging and inspirational tour of the new Muscat International Airport. The meetings took place during Dr. Liu’s three-day mission to Muscat, which concluded yesterday. It coincided with the Fourth Meeting of Directors General of Civil Aviation for the ICAO Middle East Region (DGCA-MID/4), where she delivered the opening address and participated in the achievement of significant agreements on aviation safety, security and cooperation.