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“For nearly 45 years, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said has ruled what is arguably the Arab world’s most-stable country. But his prolonged medical stay in Germany is giving rise to fears of an uncertain political transition ahead.
Any shift in Oman’s leadership stands to have a significant impact on the Middle East policies of the U.S. and other Western countries that have cooperated closely with the 73-year-old bachelor, on issues ranging from Arab-Israeli peace to the security of global energy shipments, since he assumed his throne in 1970.
Sultan Qaboos in recent years also served as a critical back channel between the Obama administration and Iran, according to U.S. and Omani officials. His efforts helped initiate the current negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.”
“Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday threw his weight behind Afghanistan’s efforts to reach out to the Taliban for peace talks, hosting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on a visit”