Oman. According to
CountryAAH, a free trade agreement with the United States was
signed on January 19. In the past, the US has entered into
similar agreements with Bahrain, Israel, Jordan and Morocco.
However, tea products were excluded. Under the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman and the other members
Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi
Arabia also discussed free trade agreements with the EU,
Singapore and New Zealand.
Just before the House of Representatives vote in July,
Oman's leader, Sultan Qabus ibn Said, announced in a decree
that trade unions should be formed. In addition, forced
labor was prohibited. Employers who used forced labor risked
fines or imprisonment.
In November, Interior Minister Saud ibn Ibrahim
al-Bussaidi announced that parliamentary elections would be
held in October 2007. Both men and women would be allowed to
take part. In the last election in October 2003, two women
were elected from among the 83 members.
In connection with the holiday Id al-fitr, which marks
the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Sultan Qabus
pardoned 125 prisoners sentenced for various crimes,
including 95 from Oman.