Secretary of State John Kerry reminded employees at the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, Oman, of the terror attack in Benghazi but said they need to keep proving to the world “that you don’t have to hate people.”
Kerry was in the sultanate to facilitate the inking of a $2.1 billion arms and missile defense system deal with Raytheon and the Omani government.
“This system, which has been selected by the Sultanate of Oman following a thorough evaluation and assessment process, offers high levels of effectiveness, capable of meeting the operational requirements of the Royal Air Force of Oman and providing seamless air protection by virtue of its cutting edge air defense technology,” the State Department said in a statement.
“You are lucky to be in a wonderful place like Oman. It is so beautiful, so beautiful,” Kerry told Embassy workers. “And I had a wonderful meeting with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos yesterday. He is a very, very thoughtful, wise leader who spends a lot of time thinking about issues, as I think you know. And we value — we being the United States and a lot of people in the world — value his sense of the future and his efforts to try to diversify the economy, build for the future, listen to people.”
“Obviously, there is a transition taking place throughout the Middle East, throughout the Arab world, and nobody quite knows sort of how it’s all going to unfold. But some leaders have been ahead of the curve and looking carefully at how to empower people, create a transition, but do it in a way that’s thoughtful and works for everybody. And I think that His Majesty has been particularly thoughtful about that.”
Kerry thanked the regional security officer as “many of us have learned through sad events in various parts of the world that security is always an issue.”
Later in his address, he noted “some sad events, some difficult events, over the last year with Benghazi, and Ankara, Turkey and some other places.”
“What we are doing is engaged in trying to reach out to people in the world and prove to people that peace is possible, that relationships are possible, that you don’t have to hate people, that you don’t have to blow people up that you’ve never met, don’t know, and have no real agenda that would improve things, just blow people up, create terror without any organizing principle around which life is going to be better for people,” the secretary said.
“We have a different point of view. And happily, we share it with most of the people of the world. Most people on this planet want peace. Most people on this planet would like nothing more than to live their lives free of oppression and torture and violence. And it takes work to push back against those things. Because we saw what happened in the last century with World War I and World War II, with Korea and Vietnam, and the Cold War. We can spend a lot of money fighting, or we can do a lot to invest in people, in education, in health, and in the possibilities of life, let families grow up without burying their children. So I think this effort that we are all engaged in to reach out to other countries, to cross cultural barriers, to try to promote your values but not do it a way that is oppressive and that doesn’t give people choice.”