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Oman Marks 40th National Day

Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said salutes as he attends a military parade in Muscat to mark the Gulf sultanate's 40th National Day, 18 Nov 2010

The Sultanate of Oman celebrated the 40th National Day and birthday of Sultan Qaboos bin Said on November 18. The Sultan presided over a short military parade in Sharjah.

The statement posted on the Oman Ministry of Information website said "The people of Oman celebrate today yet another milestone in the nation’s ongoing march towards greater progress and prosperity."

VOA's Susan Yackee speaks with Ambassador Elizabeth McKune, Executive Director of the Washington office of the Sultan Oaboos Cultural Center:

Leaders from various countries sent their congratulations to Sultan Qaboos and the Omani people, including King Abdullah Bin Abid Al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also sent a message to the Sultan's palace in Muscat.

"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Oman on your 40th National Day this November 18," said Clinton.

"The historic friendship between Oman and the United States continues to flourish through our partnership to promote free trade, conserve the environment, expand educational opportunities to more people, and to cooperate on many other issues. Under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman has made remarkable gains."

Clinton also said the people of Oman have "known greater economic opportunity, improved education and healthcare facilities, and a brighter future" in the last 40 years.

"We are proud to work closely with Oman to help build a more secure, more peaceful, and more prosperous future for our world," Clinton said. "On this special day, I wish the people of Oman a joyful celebration and look forward to further strengthening the relationship between our nations."

Oman National Day events on November 18 were subdued because of the Eid holidays. The major celebrations a National Day Festival, a major military performance and a students’ pageant are set for November 29, December 1 and December 2, respectively, in Muscat.

Some information in this story was provided by the websites of the Oman Ministry of Information and the U.S. Department of State.

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