Video: Oman's Sultan Qaboos laid to rest
The ruling family will choose a successor within three days of the throne becoming vacant.
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Arab world's longest-serving ruler, was laid to rest on Saturday as people from all over the Sultanate, across the region and the world, mourned his passing away.
The popular ruler who brought about a renaissance in his country, transforming it from a poor country to a modern Arab state, died on Saturday in Muscat at the age of 79, Oman's state news agency announced earlier in the day.
Sultan Qaboos' cousin, His Majesty Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said was appointed on Saturday as the new ruler of Oman, after the high military council called on the ruling family council to convene and choose a successor.
This put to rest any speculation about the new ruler following the death of Oman's ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who did not leave behind a publicly named successor.
"I have already written down two names, in descending order, and put them in sealed envelopes in two different regions," Sultan Qaboos said in a 1997 interview when asked about the succession.
The protocol, as per a statute enacted in 1996, says the ruling family will choose a successor within three days of the throne becoming vacant. A Royal Family Council has been asked by the country's Defence Council to convene in order to determine who shall assume power.
If they fail to arrive at a consensus, a council of military and security officials, supreme court chiefs and heads of the two assemblies will put in power the person appointed by the sultan in his letter.
Oman observers say the sultan's three cousins - Assad, Shihab and Haitham bin Tariq al-Said - stand the best chance.
The Defence Council of Oman today issued a statement stating that, as per the protocol, the Council has called upon the Royal Family Council to convene in order to determine who shall assume power.
(With inputs from agencies)