The Sultan of Oman issued 28 new royal decrees Tuesday, delegating his own authorities and naming new ministers in a significant government revamp.
A statement carried by the state-run Oman News Agency said Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said had named Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi as foreign minister. He replaces longtime foreign affairs chief Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, who is stepping down after 23 years in the post.
On Monday, Abdullah spoke with his Israeli counterpart in their first known phone call since the US-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was signed last week. Oman, which has deepened ties with the Jewish state in recent years, said it welcomed the new accord.
Also on Tuesday, Sultan bin Salem bin Saeed al-Habsi was named Oman’s finance minister. Two female ministers were added, bringing the total number of women in the Cabinet to five, reports The National.
The royal decrees were announced by Sultan Haitham, who took control in January following the death of his cousin, Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The late sultan ruled the country for 50 years and also held the official titles of minister of foreign affairs and minister of finance.
Before the revamp, the Gulf Arab country had ministers “responsible for” foreign and financial affairs whose portfolios were overseen by the Omani ruler.