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Chapter Summary

Britain's relations with Oman had started long before in the days of the East India Company's penetration of the Gulf from India, when Britain was in competition with Portugal, Holland and France. Oman was often a helpful ally, contributing ships and men in support of British raids on the pirates' ports in the Gulf and being generally cooperative over the slave trade, despite the harmful effect on its own economy. To avoid the threat of instability in an area of great importance, Britain became increasingly obliged to offer Oman support and advice without the administrative control that a protectorate might have brought. By the mid-1950s, oil was beginning to introduce a new consideration in Britain's relations with Oman. Oman has rapidly modernized since 1970. It was right that the British embassy should do so too, though the break with tradition was hard at the time.

Keywords: Britain; East India Company's penetration; Gulf; Oman; slave trade



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