Oman. According to Countryaah, the capital of Oman is Muscat. Oman’s new two-chamber parliament began working in January. A great deal of energy went into finding collaborative forms for the two chambers, Majlis ash-shura elected in October 1997 and Majlis ad-dawla appointed by the Sultan in December 1997.
In April and May, the 50th International Whaling Conference was held in the capital Muskat at Omanviken. 300 delegates from 40 countries participated.
In November, a new container port was opened in Salala in the south, thus replacing Dubai as the largest transhipment port on the route between Africa and Asia.
New ministers and contact with Israel
Badr al-Busaidi becomes the new foreign minister and Sultan bin Salem bin Said al-Habsi becomes finance minister as Oman’s regent Sultan Haitham reshuffles the government and shrinks it from 26 to 19 ministerial portfolios. The old sultan Qabus formally personally held several of the leading positions. Haitham bin Tariq has declared that Oman’s foreign policy neutrality will remain under his leadership, and an Omani recognition of the state of Israel is in the cards (see 26 June 2019 and 25 October 2018). Since the United Arab Emirates recently, as the first Gulf state, concluded an agreement with Israel, Oman has confirmed that there have been telephone contacts at the Foreign Ministry level between Israel and Oman. The sultan’s 30-year-old son Dhi Yazin bin Haitham is given responsibility for culture and sports in the government, which leads to him being perceived as a “cold calf” in training for heavier positions.