Who is Haitham bin Tariq, the new ruler of Oman?

Haitham bin Tariq has been named as the next ruler in Oman after his predecessor passed away late Friday, according to reports

Haitham bin Tariq has been named as the next ruler in Oman, as reported by Al Jazeera. The country's ruler passed away on Friday following several ailments that followed him in his last decade as the ruler of the country. Under his reign, the country was known for his diplomacy and in opening up the country to more opportunities.

Oman's modernization took its first step in the 1970s with the bloodless coup by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The successor Haitham bin Tariq was the king's cousin and the country's Minister of Heritage and Culture since the mid-1990s.

Haitham bin Tariq the sports enthusiast and future of Oman

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Oman's leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said attends the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Doha December 3, 2007. Reuters

During an emergency session in the Council of Oman in Al-Bustan Haitham bin Tariq from the Al Said family was named the next ruler of the middle eastern country. The 65-year-old sports enthusiast has been active in honing the country's culture and tradition in various ways. Oman has maintained several close relations with countries like the US and Iran and under various circumstances mediated talks between countries.

Haitham bin Tariq graduated from the Oxford University Foreign Service Programme (FSP) and did his postgraduate study in Pembrooke college. The Oman Football Association was first headed by the new ruler during its initial stages in the early 1980s and he was described as a sports enthusiast. He later served as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and later was appointed as the Secretary-General for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Changing relations or will it be a replay of Qatar

With the appointment of the new ruler, the middle east will yet again face the challenge of understanding the changing dynamics in the region. Oman has always functioned as a mediator and in a way is considered as the Switzerland of the middle east for its nature and neutrality in handling complicated situations.

The new ruler had played important roles while representing the country in various stages across the globe. He has been playing a close role in the mediation process of several ongoing conflicts and has functioned in a key role in the decision-making process.

The experts predict that there wouldn't be any shift in the characteristics of the country in the region despite the change in the governance. But, the keen eye on how the rest of the countries in the region would influence this shift of power was something that the experts continue to question.