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Oman’s Qaboos passes away, new sultan is appointed.

Haitham bin Tariq, Oman’s culture minister and the 65-year-old cousin of late Sultan Qaboos, has been sworn in as the new royal ruler, the government said Saturday.

“Haitham bin Tariq was sworn in as the new sultan of the country… after a meeting of the family which decided to appoint the one who was chosen by the sultan,” the government said in a tweet.

Oman’s ailing Sultan Qaboos bin Said, one of the Middle East’s longest serving rulers who maintained the country’s neutrality in regional struggles, died on Friday and the Gulf state’s high military council began the process to choose his successor.

Qaboos, who died at the age of 79, was unmarried and had no children, and left no apparent heir.

According to the Omani constitution, the royal family had three days to determine the successor and if they failed to agree, the person chosen by Qaboos in a letter addressed to the family would be the successor.