Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said is in a “stable condition” and continuing a program of medical treatment, Omani state television and Reuters reported yesterday, citing a statement from the sultan’s office.

Concern had grown over the sultan’s health after he spent a week in Belgium undergoing medical treatment this month and Omani authorities said nothing about his health after his return.

An ally of the West, Qaboos, 79, has ruled the Gulf Arab state since leading a bloodless coup in 1970 with the help of Britain, Oman’s former colonial power.

Qaboos has no children and has not publicly named a successor. A 1996 statute says the ruling family will choose a successor within three days of the throne’s becoming vacant.

If they fail to agree, a council of military and security officials, Supreme Court chiefs and heads of the two assemblies will put in power the person whose name has been secretly written by the sultan in a sealed letter.

In his first comments to the country since returning, the statement from the royal court said Qaboos thanked his people for the good wishes they had sent him.

Source: MEMO