Vatican to open Holy See embassy in Oman

Mission will strengthen friendship and ties, say officials

St Peter's Square in the Vatican, which has established full diplomatic relations with Oman. An embassy of the Holy See will be set up in Oman. AP
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The Vatican and Oman have announced the establishment of full diplomatic ties with an embassy to be set up in Muscat.

A joint statement said this would promote “mutual understanding and further strengthen friendship and co-operation between the Holy See and Oman”.

The decision signalled the start of closer ties with a representative of the Pope yet to be named for the embassy in Oman.

The Holy See now has diplomatic ties with 184 nations.

There are four parishes in Oman with 12 priests. The local church is part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia based in Abu Dhabi with Bishop Paulo Martinelli, the highest-ranking Catholic official.

The area covers the UAE, Oman and Yemen.

The Vatican said it hoped that with closer ties the Catholic church through its priests could continue to “contribute to the social welfare of the sultanate of Oman”.

The move is part of the widening of relations of the Holy See with the Gulf nations and deepening the connection with millions of Catholics who live and work in the region.

Pope Francis visited Abu Dhabi, the first visit by a pontiff to the Gulf in February 2019 and visited Bahrain last year.

The Vatican opened a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in February last year.

The inauguration of the mission took place on the International Day of Human Fraternity to mark the signing of the historic Document of Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: February 26, 2023, 9:50 AM