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7 Sunday, January 12, 2020 15:32

Tributes pour in as Oman mourns Sultan Qaboos


Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWho was Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said?World leaders and the people of Oman have paid tributes to Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Arab worlds longest-serving ruler who died on Friday at 79.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Prince of Wales have arrived in Muscat for a condolence ceremony as the country marks three days of mourning.Widely seen as popular, Qaboos set Oman on a path to development after coming to power in a bloodless coup in 1970.His cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said has been sworn in as successor.

Qaboos had no heir or publicly designated successor, and the family council had three days to choose one. But in an apparent swift and smooth transition, they opted to open the sealed envelope in which the late sultan had secretly left his own choice. Crowds gathered at the capitals Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque on Saturday before Qaboos was buried in a family cemetery.

No cause of death has been confirmed but media reports suggest he was suffering from colon cancer.How Sultan Qaboos weathered the Arab SpringOman country profileThe emirs of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as the king of Bahrain and the Tunisian president were among the foreign leaders who travelled to Muscat for the ceremony at al-Alam Palace.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who is touring the region, was also expected to pay his respects. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mourners carried Qaboos coffin during the funeral in Muscat on Saturday Image copyright Reuters Image caption Sultan Haitham was sworn in before the royal family council Mr Johnson, who said Qaboos had left a profound legacy, not only in Oman but across the region, would also meet the new sultan in Muscat, according to Downing Street.

Other foreign leaders and ministers paid tributes to Qaboos, who maintained the countrys neutrality amid unrest throughout the region, including:US President Donald Trump, who said Qaboos was a true partner and friend to the US, whose unprecedented efforts to engage in dialogue and achieve peace in the region showed us the importance of listening to all viewpointsIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described him as a great leader who worked tirelessly to promote peace and stability in our regionIrans Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who also.

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News Code: 377003  |  BBC
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