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Oman’s New Ruler Vows to Continue Down Path of Predecessor

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, who became the new ruler of the Gulf state of Oman this weekend following the death on Friday of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, says he will maintain good relations with both Iran and the United States, and follow in Qaboos’s footsteps as a regional mediator. “We will follow the same line as the late sultan, as well as the principles he asserted for our foreign policy of peaceful coexistence among nations and people, and good neighborly behavior of non-interference in the affairs of others,” Haitham, 66, said in his first official statement late Saturday. Qaboos was 79 and childless, and reportedly left a sealed envelope to be opened after his death recommending that Haitham, a cousin, be named sultan if a council of royal advisers proved unable to agree on a successor. The new sultan had been serving as culture minister in the Omani government. Under Qaboos, Oman stayed out of a Saudi-instigated boycott of Qatar and also hosted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a 2018 visit.