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Arab World's Longest-Serving Ruler Passes Away

  • 18 Jan 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Arab world's longest-serving ruler, has died.

  • In 1970, with the help of British, Qaboos overthrew his father in a bloodless coup, emerging as the Sultan at age 29.
  • He ruled Oman for almost half a century.
  • His cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said has been sworn as his successor.

Oman

  • Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world.
  • It occupies the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the confluence of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.
  • Geography
    • Much of the country’s interior falls within the desert of the Rubʿal-Khali. The region is still the domain of Bedouin nomads.
    • Bedouins are Arabic-speaking nomadic peoples of the Middle Eastern deserts, especially of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan.
  • Polity
    • Oman is governed by a monarchy (sultanate) with two advisory bodies.
    • The sultan is Oman's paramount decision-maker, and also holds the positions of the prime minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of defence, finance and foreign affairs.
    • Oman also recognizes the right to different forms of worship.
  • As an independent mediator
    • Oman was able to facilitate secret talks between the United States and Iran in 2013 that led to the landmark nuclear deal in 2015.
    • Oman was the only Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country not to join a Saudi-led military coalition against Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.
  • India- Oman relations
    • Oman is a strategic partner of India in the Gulf and an important interlocutor at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) fora. Oman also accords a high priority to its ties with India.
    • The two countries across the Arabian Sea are linked by geography, history and culture and have cordial relations.
    • These relations are attributed to historical maritime trade linkage and the seminal role played by the Indian expatriate community in the building of Oman. There are about 8 lakh Indians in Oman.
  • India is among Oman’s top trading partners.
    • For Oman, India was the 3rd largest source of its imports and 3rd largest market for its non-oil exports in 2018.
    • Indian firms have invested heavily Oman in various sectors like iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textiles,chemicals, automotive, etc.

Source: IE

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