Oman has named Haitham bin Tariq Al Said as the country's new ruler following the death of his cousin Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, state television announced.
The former culture minister was sworn in before the ruling family council on Saturday morning, just hours after the announcement of Sultan Qaboos' death, reports al jazeera. State television said authorities had opened a letter by Sultan Qaboos naming his successor, without elaborating, before announcing Haitham bin Tariq as the new ruler.
"Haitham bin Tariq was sworn in as the new sultan of the country ... after a meeting of the family which decided to appoint the one who was chosen by the sultan," the government said in a Twitter post.
In his first address to the nation, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq pledged to maintain the Gulf state's foreign policy, which he said was built on peaceful coexistence and maintaining friendly ties with all nations.
"We will continue to follow in the same course the late sultan adopted … embracing foreign policies based on peaceful coexistence among peoples and countries without any interference in the domestic affairs of other states," he said in a speech broadcast on state television."We will continue as always … contributing and calling for peaceful and amicable solutions for all disputes," he added, paying tribute to the late sultan.
"The least we hope for is to follow in his [Qaboos] footsteps and remain guided by his wisdom into the future, and preserve … the achievements he made," Sultan Haitham bin Tariq said.Sultan Haitham bin Tariq also called for efforts to develop the relatively small oil producing country and pledged to continue working towards raising the Omani people's "standard of living".
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