January 11, 2020 - 16:27 AMT
Oman names new ruler hours after Sultan Qaboos dies

Oman named a new ruler Saturday, January 11, hours after it announced the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, state media reported, according to CNN.

Qaboos was 79, and ruled Oman for five decades before his death Friday. He overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1970, becoming the longest serving Arab leader. The Omani government declared three days of national mourning. Haitham bin Tariq al-Said has been named as the new ruler, according to state-run Oman News Agency.

Qaboos did not have children or a direct heir at the time of his death. The Omani Constitution calls on the royal family to choose a new sultan within three days.

The head of one of the world's few remaining absolute monarchies, Qaboos was seen as a modernizing leader who played a key role in diplomacy and mediation in the Middle East and maintained strong ties with Western nations.

Photo. AFP