Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, one of the Middle East’s longest-serving rulers who maintained the country’s neutrality in a volatile region, died on Friday.
The 79-year-old leader’s cousin Haitham bin Tariq al-Said was named as his successor in a smooth transition of power in the Gulf state.
Oman has declared a three-day period of mourning and the country’s flag will be flown at half-mast for 40 days.
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, a negotiator in a volatile region
Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as Oman’s new sultan
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos dies aged 79: State media
With his death, the region lost a seasoned leader seen as the father of modern Oman, who balanced ties between two neighbours locked in a regional struggle, Saudi Arabia to the west and Iran to the north, as well as the United States.