MUSCAT: Dubai-based Al Arabiya news site published an obituary under the heading ‘Countries mourn the death of Sultan Qaboos of Oman’.
The article written by Leen Al Faisal and Joanne Serrieh, from Al Arabiya English, said that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a statement on Saturday said the Kingdom and its people share the sorrows of their brothers in Oman.
Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court announced its mourning of the late Sultan, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The article went on to say that UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced three days of mourning for the death of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, as well as flying flags at half-mast, according to a tweet by Emirates News Agency.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement he is deeply saddened to hear about the death of Sultan Qaboos.
The article quoted the UK prime minister as saying: “I had the pleasure of meeting His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and was struck by his commitment to peace and understanding between nations and between faiths,” Boris said in his statement.
“He leaves a profound legacy, not only in Oman but across the region too.”
Former US President George W Bush released a statement saying he is saddened by the news and that the late Sultan Qaboos had been a stable force in the Middle East.
“He had a vision for a modern, prosperous and peaceful Oman,” Bush said in the statement. “And, he willed that vision into a reality.”
Brotherly Oman and the Arab and Islamic world have lost a wise leader, tweeted the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, offering condolences to the Omani leader’s family and people, the Al Arabiya news site said.
Qatar based Al Jazeera English language site carried an article under the heading ‘What legacy does Sultan Qaboos leave for Oman? with a subheading reading ‘Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, who had been ill for some time, died on Saturday at the age of 79.’
Over the course of 50 years, he turned a poor country on the Arabian Peninsula into a modern state, which stayed diplomatically neutral in a region divided by conflict.
Another article published on Al Jazeera English language site said: “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.
The article went on to say, under Qaboos’s leadership, the Sultanate also mediated talks between the warring sides in the continuing war in Yemen.
The article provided some of the reactions from leaders from around the world at the announcement of Qaboos’s passing:
The United Kingdom
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Qaboos. “He was an exceptionally wise and respected leader who will be missed enormously,” he said.
“I had the pleasure of meeting His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and was struck by his commitment to peace and understanding between nations and between faiths.”
Johnson noted that Qaboos left behind “a profound legacy, not only in Oman but across the region too”.
Iran’s top diplomat said the death of Sultan Qaboos was a “loss for the region” and expressed hopes that relations between the two nations will grow under his successor.
“We offer our dear neighbour Oman our condolences … (and) we congratulate it for its selection of His Majesty Haitham bin Tareq as Sultan, hoping our relations grow as they have before and that the future draws inspiration from the past,” Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted in Arabic.
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos was a great leader, characterised by wisdom, moderation and long-term vision, The Peninsula news website reported.
The Emir added that the late sultan had dedicated his life to serving his Oman and the Muslim Ummah, and someone who rejected violence and extremism.
The Emir ordered a three-day mourning period in the country, according to The Peninsula.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos was “a beacon of peace for our region and the world”.
“I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. He was a visionary leader and statesman who transformed Oman into a modern and prosperous nation,” Modi posted on Twitter.
Modi said Sultan Qaboos was a “true friend of India” and “provided strong leadership for developing a vibrant strategic partnership” between India and Oman.
“I will always cherish the warmth and affection I received from him. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered his condolences, calling the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos “a visionary”.
“Oman has lost a beloved leader and Pakistan a close, trusted friend. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Imran said.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
United Arab Emirates (UAE) ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised Qaboos for his dedication to serving the Omani people, the country’s state news agency WAM reported.
“We express our sincere condolences to the Omani royal family and the people of the sisterly Sultanate of Oman on the death of the great late Sultan Qaboos. We express our full confidence that the people of Oman and its leadership will continue his blessed march serving the causes of the nation and advance the Arab joint action,” WAM quoted Al Nahyan as saying.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Oman and the Arab world have lost a “wise leader and a (figure) of great historical stature”.
London-based Asharq Al Awsat ‘The Middle East’ wrote, Sultan Qaboos, who died late on Friday, transformed Oman during his 49-year reign from a poverty-stricken country into a prosperous state and an internationally trusted mediator for some of the region’s thorniest issues.
The newspaper went on to say, ‘Under his reign, Oman became known as a welcoming tourist destination and a key Mideast interlocutor, helping the US free captives in Iran and Yemen.’
Kuwait-based Arab Times wrote “Sultan Qaboos shaped Oman’s policy of diplomatic balancing. Under his leadership, Oman was a facilitator of talks between adversaries. Oman is a close ally of Washington and viewed as a valuable regional player. In the capital Muscat, soldiers and troops stood guard with machine guns atop SUVs as Omanis gathered along a highway to see the motorcade carrying the sultan’s body for burial.”
The newspaper went on to say “Thousands gathered at the Sultan Qaboos Mosque where funeral prayers were held on Saturday. The mosque is an architecturally stunning complex of white marble and manicured gardens that reflects how the late Sultan modernised his country without eschewing its cultural heritage or building towering skyscrapers.”