It’s been confirmed this morning that Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman has died aged 79.
The sultan came to power in 1970 and was the Arab-region’s longest-serving ruler. The cause of his death hasn’t been announced yet and his cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said has sworn in as his successor.
A popular leader
Sultan Qaboos was commonly regarded as one of the most popular leaders in the region. He attracted widespread praise for the way he ruled Oman, turning it from an isolated country riven by civil war into a stable oil exporter.
He also played a vital role in peace talks between US-Iran, Saudi-Yemen, Iraq-Kuwait, Israel-Palestine, West-Syria.
3 days of national mourning
Three days of official mourning have been declared for the private and public sectors, with flags flown at half-mast for 40 days.