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Muscat: Omani leader Sultan Qaboos made a rare public appearance on Sunday to address the annual session of parliament, in his first live broadcast speech since he returned from an eight-month medical stay in Germany.

His remarks focused on Omani achievements in various fields during his address to the opening of the sixth session of the Oman Council at Hisn Al Shumouk in Manah province on Sunday.

“We are looking forward to continue the blessed Renaissance march with greater will and determination and that will be achieved only with the togetherness of efforts, for the benefit of all,” said Sultan Qaboos.

Sultan Qaboos added that he has followed closely the work of the Council of Oman, both the Shura Council and the State Council in the past periods, lauding the efforts made by the council of Oman, which had a concrete impact in pushing forward the comprehensive development march towards further development and growth.

This is the first speech since 2012, in front of council of Oman.

His long absence fueled concern over the succession in the Arabian peninsula state over which Qaboos, nearly 75, has been ruling since 1970.

Upon his return in March, state media said his treatment had been a success and that he was in “complete health.” But he has made few public appearances since returning and is usually represented abroad by other senior officials.

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.

Oman has helped facilitate peace efforts in the region, acting as an intermediary for contacts between Iranian and US diplomats that culminated in the landmark nuclear deal in July and backing talks to end Yemen’s ongoing civil war.