On January 10-11, 2005, Dr I.F.Popova, the Head of the St Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, visited Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, having being invited by the Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah as-Salimi. In May of 2004, when the Minister and his delegation visited the Institute and observed the exhibition of its mss, he expressed an intention to sign an agreement on the cooperation with the St Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah as-Salimi organized an official reception of Dr I.F.Popova at his residence. It was attended also by the Director General of the Institute for Shari'ah Studies, Sheikh Ziyad bin Talib al-Mauli, and other officials. Both sides approved their intention to cooperate and discussed a wide circle of issues connected with it.
The discussion resulted in the signing of the Memorandum on the mutual understanding and cultural cooperation between the Institute for Shari'ah Studies of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs and the St Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS. The Memorandum written in Arabic and English was signed by the Director General of the Institute for Shari'ah Studies, Sheikh Ziyad bin Talib al-Mauli, and the Head of the Institute, Dr I.F.Popova.
According to the Memorandum, the sides ascertained relations of academic and cultiral cooperation for the stimulation of Islamic, Arabic and social academic studies and agreed on the joint organization of scholarly conferences, mutual visits of professors and researchers for the delivering of lectures and research work, exchange of academic literature, etc.
The visit of Dr I.F.Popova to the Sultanate of Oman and the signing of the Memorandum was reported in the Oman media in both Arabic and English.
A paper from the Ash-Shabiba Newspaper, issued on January 11, 2005