The Arab world’s longest-serving ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman died on Friday at the age of 79 after a long battle with illness.

State media hailed Qaboos for his “wise and triumphant march full of tenderness that covered Oman from one extreme to the other, and extended all across the Arab, Islamic and international worlds and resulted in a balanced policy that the whole world respected.”

Taking the helm of power in the Gulf country in 1970, Qaboos was credited for modernizing Oman and pursuing a quiet diplomacy away from regional conflicts.

Born in Salalah in southern

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