Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Arab world’s longest-serving ruler with a reputation for quiet diplomacy, has died. He was 79.
According to the state media, his cousin Haitham bin Tariq al-Said was named his successor, ending decades of speculation over who would succeed the popular ruler. It may be mentioned, Qaboos had no children and had not publicly appointed a successor.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 11th, 2020 condoled the death of the Sultan, describing him as a beacon of peace for the region. Modi said the sultan was a beacon of peace for the region and the world.
He tweeted, “Sultan Qaboos was a true friend of India and provided strong leadership for developing a vibrant strategic partnership between India and Oman. I will always cherish the warmth and affection I received from him. May his soul rest in peace.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too offered his condolences. “I’m sorry to hear about the demise of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman. My condolences to his family and to the people of Oman, mourning the loss of their beloved leader,” he tweeted.
Qaboos implemented a policy of modernization and development and brought an end to Oman’s international isolation. His reign saw a rise in living standards and development in the country, the abolition of slavery, the end of the Dhofar Rebellion and the promulgation of Oman’s constitution.
He acceded to the throne on July 23rd, 1970 following a successful coup against his father, with the aim of ending the country’s isolation and using its oil revenue for modernization and development.
He declared that the country would no longer be known as Muscat and Oman, but would change its name to “the Sultanate of Oman” in order to better reflect its political unity.
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