Oman the Middle East mediator

The Sultanate of Oman is known for helping the United States and Iran hold talks that led to an international deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Muscat is now trying to help mediate the conflict in Yemen. This article looks at those efforts, which includes the freeing of six hostages held in Sanaa.

The mediation efforts are not simply a boost to Oman’s diplomatic reputation. As a country that aims to attract more tourists and become a major shipping hub, Oman has a direct stake in fostering regional stability.

“Things are going one way right now. You need to change something,” said Mr Goldsmith, commenting on the regional chaos. “[Oman] has no choice, but to play the mediator role.”

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Sultan Qaboos misses Oman’s National Day

Here’s a dispatch from Muscat on National Day celebrations in Oman. This was the first year the country’s long-time leader Sultan Qaboos was absent. The sultan is in Germany for medical treatment.

The day before the celebrations the country’s main telecom network, Omantel, was down for several hours. Some speculated hackers might be responsible.