Can Oman’s New Leader Uphold Sultan Qaboos’s Peaceful Legacy?

A Flagging Economy Threatens the Sultanate’s Role as a Trusted Mediator

Sultan Al Hasani / Reuters

After 49 years under Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman has a new ruler. The Arab world’s longest-serving leader died on January 10, ending nearly five decades of transformational rule during which he remade his war-torn nation into an oasis of stability and gained a reputation as a trusted mediator between rival powers. Qaboos had no children and therefore no heir apparent. But shortly after his death, Oman’s Royal Family and Defense Councils expedited the country’s formal succession process, inviting state television to broadcast the opening of a sealed envelope Qaboos had left behind naming his preferred successor: former Minister of …