December 31, 2019 / 1:47 PM / 22 days ago

Oman's Sultan Qaboos 'stable', treatment ongoing, state TV reports

FILE PHOTO: Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said at the Beit Al Baraka Royal Palace in Muscat, Oman January 14, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said is in a “stable condition” and continuing a program of medical treatment, state television said on Tuesday, 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.

Reporting by Tuqa Khalid and Lisa Barrington; editing by Kevin Liffey, Larry King

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