Sultan Qaboos reassured Omanis about the state of his health—despite missing the occasion of national day for the first time since his coronation in 1970. He said he had made “great progress” in his treatment, which he said he was now required to “follow up in accordance with the medical program [he has been receiving] throughout the coming period.”
Official state television showed images of the Sultan receiving members of the Omani Royal Family at his home in Germany. The Oman News Agency said he met with Deputy Prime Minister Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Sa’id and Minister of the Diwan of the Royal Court Khalid Bin Hilal Al-Busaidi, who both said they had been “reassured of His Majesty’s health.”
Chairman of the Shura Council—the upper house of the Omani parliament—Khalid Bin Hilal Bin Nassir Al-Mu’awali told Asharq Al-Awsat the Sultan’s address had succeeded in reassuring many Omanis worried about the state of the Sultan’s health.
“The Omani people have been waiting very patiently for an appearance from Sultan Qaboos after his extended period of treatment abroad. This [televised] appearance was a great source of relief for the people of Oman, despite this being the first time the Sultan celebrates this occasion of national day abroad,” he said.
“All Omanis have the genuine desire for Sultan Qaboos to [continue] to build their nation, which has been an oasis of peace, despite the difficult conditions the country went through in the 1970s, which we all managed to cross safely thanks to the Sultan’s efforts.”
Mu’awali dismissed any concerns regarding the political future of the Sultanate in light of Sultan Qaboos’s illness, saying the government and the Sultan had already “cleared up any concerns regarding the future of the country.”
The process of succession was amended in October 2011, with the Sultan appointing five officials to manage the process.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, MP Tawfiq Al-Luwati said the Sultan’s address had “refuted the slander which some media outlets have been spreading,” in reference to rumors circulating regarding the exact nature of the Sultan’s illness, details of which have not been released by the Omani authorities.
He added: “Despite all the unrest the Arab world is currently witnessing, the Sultanate of Oman has been able to safeguard its gains, its cohesion, and its unity, and this has been strengthened through the relationship between the Sultan and the people, who appreciate his efforts [in helping solve the country’s] challenges and [in promoting its] advancement.”