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Oman's new Sultan changes national anthem following Qaboos' death

Haitham bin Tariq is Oman's new Sultan [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 February, 2020

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Haitham bin Tariq has changed up the national anthem by removing the name of his predecessor after the mourning of Sultan Qaboos ended.

Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq issued a decree removing the name of his predecessor from the national anthem Thursday, a day after official mourning for Sultan Qaboos ended.

"Sultan Haitham issued a decree amending Annex 3 of the law pertaining to the state flag, emblem and national anthem," the official Oman News Agency reported.

According to the new decree, the lyrics referring to Sultan Qaboos, "Qaboos has come with the blessing of heaven, be cheerful and commend him to the protection of our prayers" will be replaced with "raise to the sky and fill the universe with light, be happy and prosper".

Sultan Qaboos, who died on January 10 at the age of 79, was the longest-serving leader in the modern Arab world. 

He left no apparent heir. He was unmarried, had no children or brothers and his successor was chosen in a meeting of the royal family.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq was sworn in shortly after Qaboos was laid to rest, promising to follow in his predecessor's footsteps. 

Qaboos, a cousin of Haitham, transformed the former Arabian Peninsula backwater into a modern nation with a staunch policy of neutrality and non-interference that won it respect in the region and beyond.

Haitham, a sports enthusiast, remains relatively unknown on the international stage but experts say that the 65-year-old who once served in Oman's foreign ministry is cut from the same diplomatic cloth as his predecessor.

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