Sultan Qaboos bin Said
Sultan Qaboos bin Said

The funeral of Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed, in the Omani capital of Muscat, who died Friday evening, at the age of 79, according to what the official Omani News Agency quoted the Royal Court as saying.

With Qaboos’s death, the longest reign of a king in the Middle East ended.

Sultan Qaboos was born on November 18, 1940 in Salalah in the south, where he continued his schooling, until he joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Britain at the age of twenty.

The Sultan graduated from her after two years with the rank of lieutenant, then served in Germany as part of a British military contingent for a year.

Upon returning to his country in 1964, the Sultan clashed with the strict policy adopted by his father, who refused any modernization, until he took power on July 23, 1970, after he turned against his father, to launch a period of modernization that began with the export of oil.

Qaboos declared himself "Sultan of Oman" after the title of ruler was "Sultan of Muscat and Oman", and he became the eighth ruler of the Al Said dynasty since assuming power in 1749, and he immediately changed the flag and currency.

Sultan Qaboos adopted a policy of rapprochement with Iran, located on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz, in contrast to other Arab rulers. He took a neutral stance during the Iraq war with Iran between 1980 and 1988.

His close relationship with Iran allowed him to play the mediating role in the nuclear file, which resulted in an important agreement in 2015 between Tehran and Washington under Barack Obama, before US President Donald Trump withdrew from it.

Since the killing of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last week by an American strike, the regional crisis has intensified.

On Friday, the United States imposed new sanctions on eight senior Iranian officials accused of working to destabilize the region, as well as on major steel producers and manufacturers in the Islamic Republic.

Western countries have repeatedly gone to Muscat to ask them to act as a mediator, not only in regional conflicts, but also in international issues.

Amman also mediated between Tehran and Washington to release prisoners, including the release of three Americans imprisoned in Iran on suspicion of being spies after they lost their way across the border in 2009.

Muscat maintained good relations with Tehran, and remained in the Gulf Cooperation Council despite the deep enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran.