Sultan Qaboos, who was the longest serving Sultan in the Arabic world is dead.
The Royal Court of Oman in a statement indicated “”With great sorrow and deep sadness… the royal court mourns His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who passed away on Friday.
Qaboos has been in royal power since 1970 when he forcefully took over from his father. His death threw Oman into a crisis since Qaboos did not have a heir apparent. He remained unmarried in his entire rule in a development that leaves Oman in a succession spin. He did not, either, have brothers or sisters.
In reference to the Omani constitution, the royal family should, within three days of the throne falling vacant, determine the successor.
The sultan should be a member of the royal family, as well as “Muslim, mature, rational and the legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents”.
Qaboos transformed the Arabian Peninsula nation from a backwater into a modern state while pursuing a moderate but active foreign policy.
Having played a role in Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers while preserving its membership in the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council, Oman has emerged as the Gulf’s discreet mediator.
“He was a stable force in the Middle East and a strong US ally. His Majesty had a vision for a modern, prosperous, and peaceful Oman, and he willed that vision into reality,” former US president George W. Bush said in a message of condolences paying tribute to Qaboos.