Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, right, receives Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Muscat, Oman, on Tuesday. Photo: Oman News Agency via AP

Abe among first visitors to Oman to meet new sultan


Dignitaries and leaders from around the world traveled to Oman on Tuesday for the third straight day to pay respects and shake hands with the country's new ruler, after the death of the country's longtime leader.

The range of diplomats and leaders visiting Oman in recent days reflects how the country's policy of non-interference has made it an ally of many. The policy was cultivated during the nearly 50-year-rule of Sultan Qaboos, who was buried on Saturday at the age of 79. Under his leadership, Oman was a back channel for talks between adversaries the United States and Iran.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Muscat on Tuesday and met new ruler Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al said, whose background as culture minister and a career diplomat sets him apart form other Mideast leaders with military and security backgrounds.

Abe visited Oman as part of a tour of Gulf Arab states that included Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates amid heightened tensions in the region between Iran and the United States. Japan is energy-dependent on Arab Gulf states, and the security of Persian Gulf waters through which oil shipments transit is critical for Tokyo.

The U.S. was sending a presidential delegation on Wednesday to Oman led by Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, and which is to include the National Security Council's Director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, Allison Minor. President Donald Trump said in a statement after Sultan Qaboos' passing that he brought peace and prosperity to his country and was a friend to all.

"His unprecedented efforts to engage in dialogue and achieve peace in the region showed us the importance of listening to all viewpoints. Sultan Qaboos was a true partner and friend to the United States, working with nine different American presidents," the White House statement said.

Last year, the sultan hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a surprise visit, the first by an Israeli leader in more than 20 years.

Those who visited Oman to offer condolences include Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and many others.

In their statements of condolences, leaders across the world described Qaboos as a wise leader, a friend and a trusted partner.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Been going on for three days, as of Tuesday, and Abe arrived on the third, not quite among the "first". But have to keep the propaganda machine working for Abe's image!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In the last few days Abe represented Japan ranked 121 in the gender equality index to places like Saudi Arabia and Oman both ranked in the 140s and to Yemen ranked dead last at 153 to discuss Iran ranked 148.......the only thing that comes to mind is 'birds of a feather.'

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Abe sure loves masking his vacations as state visits. And of course the media covers with smoke screen. For once I'd like to see a media company here call it for what it is, shirking criticism and responsibilioty by running away over seas. Abe is there to hide from the casino scandal, nothing more.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Just like the sands of hour glass, so are the days of Middle East rulers lives

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just like the sands of hour glass, so are the days of Middle East rulers...

and the military muscle that stands behind them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The security bill has to be over $100 million.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


You may be on to something.

i remember that his Middle East trip was cancelled last week and then suddenly when the casino scandal surfaced it was back on again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good Job PM Abe. He was able to get Oman support for the MSDF and he was bale to get and he was the first to meet the new Sultan. Overall a Good job. Well done!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Another PR stunt for Abe.

"Look they are all my friends" ....... LOL.

Casino scandal, Aso-scandal and so on.

S he must do something to (at least) look good.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe, like Trump, could cure cancer, and people still would have nothing good to say about him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That translator in the first picture looks mighty uncomfortable!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should have also said that it looks like the photo was taken at a Saddam Hussein lookalike contest (hint: look at the back row).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

--- Saddam Hussein lookalike contest

I dunno. That guy on the right kinda reminds me of Peter Sellers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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