The United States expects to complete agreements soon with Oman and Kenya to permit American military forces to use facilities in the Indian Ocean area countries, the State Department said yesterday.
A statement added, in regard to similar negotiations with Somalia, that "we are not as close to an agreement but are confident of continued progress."
Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Carter administration has been seeking so-called "access agreements" with these countries to allow U.S. forces to exert a more effective presence near the Persian Gulf.
Under the hoped-for agreements, the United States would not station forces in those countries. Instead, it would set up storage, maintenance and refueling facilities to service U.S. warships and planes.
A senior State Department official said yesterday that, although there has not been an actual initialing, the agreement with Oman is "to all intents and purposes in the bag."
The department's statement also confirmed that recently retired undersecretry of state Phillip C. Habib had been in Oman and "was part of the process of negotiation and consultation."
As to similar access agreement with the African nation of Djibouti, the department's statement said: "We do from time to time make routine air or sea calls, using commercial facilities available in Djibouti. We do not plan any significant changes in this pattern."