British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles were among those who arrived in Muscat today to meet Oman’s new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. The Sultan, who died on Friday aged 79 following a five-year battle with colon cancer , had been receiving treatment in Belgium until recently.
Oman sits on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula and has served as an interlocutor between Iran and the US, which are facing a level of unprecedented tensions. Oman is a close ally of Washington and viewed as a valuable regional player.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif travelled to Muscat on Sunday as well to meet Sultan Haitham.
A statement from the prime minister’s office read:
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Muscat this morning to offer his condolences following the death of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman.
He will attend a condolence ceremony at Al Alam Palace, alongside the Prince of Wales, the Defence Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Staff. The Prime Minister will meet the new Sultan – HM Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said – and other senior members of the Government of Oman.
The UK and Oman have a broad and long-standing bilateral relationship that goes back over 200 years. Our countries have deep economic ties and shared defence and security interests. There are strong links between our citizens in areas such as education and the arts.
The UK also cooperates closely with Oman on regional issues, working together to address shared challenges, and to promote peace and stability. The Prime Minister met Sutlan Qaboos bin Said al Said as Foreign Secretary in December 2017 and January 2018.
He is attending the first of three days of official condolences in Oman led by the new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.