Alwaght- Oman’s monarch, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, has passed away at the age of 79 after around half a century at the helm of the state, according to Omani state media.
Located along the highly strategic Strait of Hormuz, which it shares with Iran, Oman under Qaboos maintained better relations with the Islamic Republic than any other Persian Gulf nation.
Oman brokered conflict resolution negotiations among many regional states under Qaboos.
The sultanate, however, notoriously hosted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018 amid vocal cautions against attempts at bringing the regional Arab states and the regime close.
Qaboos has ruled the Persian Gulf Arab state since 1970, when he led the bloodless overthrow of Sultan Said bin Taimur – his father – with backing from Britain, formerly a colonial power in Oman.
Before he took the throne, Oman had fewer than 10 kilometers of paved road, one hospital and no secondary schools. By 1980, ten years into Qaboos’ rule, the country had some 12,000 kilometers of asphalt roadways, 363 schools and 28 hospitals, according to anthropologist Mandana Limbert.
The ruler struggled with a bout of health problems and was flown to Belgium last month for treatment for colon cancer, after which he was said to be in “stable condition.” Omani authorities offered few additional details about his status after he returned home.
The sultanate’s court has named Haitham bin Tariq Al Said as the country's new, Al Jazeera reported.
The former culture minister has been sworn in before the ruling family council on Saturday, local media outlets al-Watan and al-Roya reported.
There was no official confirmation of the reports.