Oman’s Sultan Qabous Ben Saïd returned home Monday after spending more than eight months in Germany for medical treatment. The state TV showed the Sultan walking off a royal plane smiling, along a red carpet and onto a waiting car, reports MISNA.
According to an official statement released by the Mascate government, the medical treatment in Germany “was a total success”. Qabous Ben Said, 74, who has ruled Oman for 44 years, was suffering from colon cancer.
The 74-year-old returned to the capital, Muscat, on Monday after completing medical treatment in Germany, the state TV said.
Footage showed Qaboos walking unaided from a royal aircraft and across a red carpet on the tarmac.
Since Monday, Omanis have taken to the streets to celebrate the return of their leader.
His last public appearance was in November, when Qaboos announced on state television that his treatment was giving “good results” and that he would miss his country’s national day.
The royal court did not say what kind of treatment was administered to the Sultan, who has ruled Oman since overthrowing his father in a bloodless coup in 1970.
Since assuming power, Qaboos transformed Oman from an isolated backwater, with little or no infrastructure, into a modern state.
Oman’s leadership remained in power through political and social uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring, due also to 2011 reforms that attributed major powers to a Consultative Council elected by universal suffrage.
But his prolonged absence for treatment has stirred questions over succession.
In October 2011, Qaboos, who has no children or brothers, amended the process of choosing his successor.
The sultan, whose closest relatives are cousins, appointed five top officials to a council that would be involved in confirming the new sultan in case of any royal family dispute.
The sultanate, which has a population estimated at around four million, derives 79 percent of its revenues from oil, of which it produces about one million barrels per day.
The non-OPEC member has projected a budget deficit this year of $6.47 billion, representing 8.0 percent of gross domestic product.