Haitham bin Tariq

Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (Arabic: هيثم بن طارق آل سعيد‎, transliteration: Haytham bin Ṭāriq Āl Saʿīd; born 11 October 1955[1][2]) is the Sultan of Oman. Prior to becoming sultan, he served for multiple decades in the Cabinet of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, his cousin. He was Minister of Heritage and Culture from 2002 to 2020.[3][4] Sultan Qaboos named Haitham as his successor in his will, and he was proclaimed sultan on 11 January 2020, hours after Qaboos's death.[5]

Haitham bin Tariq
A photo of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq aged 65
Haitham bin Tariq in 2020
Sultan of Oman
Prime Minister of Oman
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
11 January 2020
DeputyFahd bin Mahmoud Al Said
Asa'ad bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said
Shihab bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said
Preceded byQaboos bin Said
Minister of Heritage and Culture
In office
March 2002 – 1 March 2020
Prime MinisterSultan Qaboos
Himself
Succeeded bySalem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
11 January 2020 – 18 August 2020
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byQaboos bin Said Al Said
Succeeded bySayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi
Minister of Finance
In office
11 January 2020 – 18 August 2020
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byQaboos bin Said Al Said
Succeeded bySultan bin Salem bin Saeed Al Habsi
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In office
1994–2002
Prime MinisterSultan Qaboos
Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Political Affairs
In office
1986–1994
Prime MinisterSultan Qaboos
Personal details
Born (1955-10-11) 11 October 1955 (age 66)
Muscat, Oman
Spouse(s)
ChildrenTheyazin bin Haitham
Bilarab bin Haitham
Thuraya bint Haitham
Omaima bint Haitham
House
Parent(s)Tariq bin Taimur
Shawana bint Hamud bin Ahmad Al-Busaidiyah[citation needed]

BiographyEdit

Haitham bin Tariq attended Pembroke College, University of Oxford, graduating from the Foreign Service Programme (FSP) in 1979.[6]

Haitham's father was Tariq bin Taimur, son of Sultan Taimur bin Feisal. He has six brothers and two half-sisters (Amal and Nawwal who is the former wife of Sultan Qaboos). His brother Asa'ad bin Tariq was the Deputy Prime Minister for relations and international cooperation affairs and his brother Shihab bin Tariq is the Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs (and the father of his daughter-in-law, Meyyan). His other brothers, Talal, Qais, Adham, and Faris, are all businessmen and are not involved in politics.[citation needed] He has four children, two sons and two daughters. His eldest son Theyazin bin Haitham is the Crown Prince of Oman.[7]

Haitham is described by The Economist as "outward-looking and Western-oriented".[8]

Political careerEdit

A sports enthusiast, he served as the first head of the Oman Football Association in the early 1980s.[9] He served as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs from 1986 to 1994, and was later appointed as the Secretary General for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994–2002).[10][11] He was later appointed as the Minister of Heritage and Culture in March 2002 and later chaired the national census committee in 2003.[12] He usually represented Oman abroad in a diplomatic capacity;[13] in 2016, he personally welcomed Great Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla on a visit to the country.[14]

He is also chairman of the committee for the future vision of "Oman 2040″ along with being honorary president of the Oman Association for the Disabled.[15]

His record in government under Qaboos has been described by The Economist as poor.[8]

Sultan of OmanEdit

After the death of his first cousin Sultan Qaboos on 10 January 2020, Haitham bin Tariq was named by the royal family and Qaboos's will as Sultan of Oman the next day and took an oath before an emergency session of the Council of Oman in Al-Bustan.[16] Oman state TV said the former sultan's letter was opened by the Defence Council and his identity was announced shortly thereafter.[17] As sultan, he also held the positions of prime minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of defence, minister of finance, and minister of foreign affairs until 18 August 2020 when he appointed Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi as Foreign Minister and Sultan bin Salem bin Saeed al-Habsi as minister of finance.[18][19] In his first public speech, he promised to uphold his predecessor's peace-making foreign policy and to further develop Oman's economy.[14][20] Haitham bin Tariq is married and, unlike his predecessor, also has children, two sons and two daughters.[21][22]

On 12 January 2021, by a royal decree of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Oman would appoint the Sultan's eldest son, Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham, as the first crown prince of Oman.[23] He also changed the State Basic Law to grant citizens and residents living in Oman freedom of expression and opinion, removed a law that allowed the state to monitor private phone conversations, social media or postal correspondence, and granted the freedom to practice religious rites according to recognized customs provided it does not violate the public order or contradict morals.[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Index Ha". www.rulers.org.
  2. ^ Valeri, Marc (21 January 2020). "Oman's new sultan faces mammoth challenges". BBC. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Cabinet of Ministers". Oman News Agency. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  4. ^ Appointing a Minister of Heritage and Culture, Royal Decree No11/2002, issued on 14 February 2002, published in issue 713 of the Official Gazette
  5. ^ "Oman's new ruler Haitham bin Tariq takes oath: newspapers". Reuters. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Haitham bin Tariq appointed new ruler of Oman". Arab News. 11 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Oldest son of Oman's sultan becomes country's first crown prince". www.aljazeera.com.
  8. ^ a b "Sultan Qaboos, ruler of Oman for almost 50 years, has died". The Economist. 11 January 2020.
  9. ^ "New Oman ruler chosen by agreement, or secret letter". France 24. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  10. ^ Oman, Ministry of Legal Affairs (1986). Royal Decree No. 2/86. Official Gazette.
  11. ^ Oman, Ministry of Legal Affairs (1994). Royal Decree No. 110/94. Official Gazette.
  12. ^ Valeri, Marc (2009). Oman: Politics and Society in the Qaboos State. C. Hurst. pp. 97, 124. ISBN 978-1-85065-933-4. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Haitham bin Tariq appointed new ruler of Oman". Arab News. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Oman's new ruler Haitham bin Tariq promises good ties with all nations". Arab News. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  15. ^ "The New Sultan of Oman: Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said succeeds Sultan Qaboos of Oman". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Oman names culture minister as successor to Sultan Qaboos". AP NEWS. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Oman transfers powers from Sultan's remit in government revamp". 18 August 2020 – via uk.reuters.com.
  19. ^ "Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as Oman's new sultan". www.aljazeera.com.
  20. ^ Hubbard, Ben (11 January 2020). "Oman's New Sultan Vows to Continue Country's Peacemaking Path". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Oman's new ruler chosen to provide continuity". 11 January 2020 – via www.reuters.com.
  22. ^ "Who is the new Sultan of Oman?". Tehran Times. 13 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Sultan's eldest son will become Oman's crown prince, new decree says". Arab News. 13 January 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Oman's Sultan Haitham guarantees freedom of expression". The National. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
Haitham bin Tariq
House of Al Said
Regnal titles
Preceded by Sultan of Oman
2020–present
Incumbent