Sultan Qaboos makes rare public appearance
MUSCAT: Omani leader Sultan Qaboos made a rare public appearance yesterday to address the annual session of parliament, in his first live broadcast speech since he returned from an eight-month medical stay in Germany. Upon his return in March, state media said his treatment had been a success and that he was in “complete health”. Appearing in good health, Qaboos spoke for three minutes in his address to the Oman Council, which is made up of both elected and appointed members. Western-backed Qaboos has ruled since taking over from his father in a bloodless coup with the help of Oman’s former colonial power, Britain. Since then, he has helped to transform an impoverished backwater riven by internal conflict into a prosperous state that plays a small but important role in regional diplomacy.