The Middle East region has faced monumental challenges in recent times. It all started with the political upheavals in Iraq in 2003, affecting as it did the various economic, political and security spheres, and which some observers believe gradually spread into neighbouring countries of the region; leaving in their wake profound changes to the structure of the societies of the Middle East. In some of these countries, the upheavals resulted in sectarian and ethnic divisions; whilst in others it prompted efforts to repel and confront these challenges in order to limit their effects. Yet still, some of the countries in the region exploited the situation and embarked on a path of interference in the internal affairs of their neighbours, thus not only exacerbating and worsening tensions but were in fact also a direct contributory factor to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
When discussing the response of these countries to these developments, it is important to consider Oman’s foreign policy. Despite the numerous developments that have occurred, and which continue to take place, at the Gulf countries/Arab-wide/Regional levels, Oman’s policy towards these challenges has remained clear and transparent. Oman took it upon itself to engender and encourage peace and stability whenever possible, particularly in the Gulf region and more generally, in the Middle East. The Sultanate of Oman participated in bolstering the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in meeting security challenges, adopting a firm stance at both regional and international level, and calling for the need to spread peace.