Oman ruler returns after months of treatment in Europe

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2015 1:37 PM
Oman ruler returns after months of treatment in Europe

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Oman's ailing 74-year-old leader, who has ruled the country for more than four decades, returned Monday after several months of treatment in Germany.

Oman's state TV carried video of Sultan Qaboos bin Said walking down the stairs from his private jet and across a red carpet on the tarmac Monday. A royal court statement said he had returned after eight months of medical treatment abroad.

The sultan has no immediate heir and has ruled over the Gulf Arab state since 1970. The video of him arriving in Oman and walking down the stairs appeared aimed at easing concerns about his health and reign, which are seen as integral to the country's stability.

The royal court has not said what kind of treatment he underwent or provided any details about what he was ailing from, only saying that the treatment was successful.

His last public appearance was in November, in a video message broadcast on state TV to mark the occasion of his birthday. In January, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a brief stop in Germany to meet the sultan, whose country has served as an intermediary in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.