Dubai: Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed has reassured citizens about his health in a video address from Germany, where he is receiving medical treatment.
The sultan, a video address carried on state news channel Oman TV, greeted citizens for the country’s 44th National Day, which falls on November 18, and expressed regret for not being able to be present during celebrations.
“We are pleased to extend greetings to all of you for this occasion, which because of divine will co-incides with our being outside the dear nation for reasons that you are aware of, which God, praise be to him, has allowed for good results that require us to [continue] following up as per the medical programme”.
He also praised the Omani people for their support and the Omani armed forces for their role in the country.
“I would like to reassert our continued keenness to provide the armed forces with all necessary tools and equipment so it can carry out its national duty”.
The Sultan has been receiving treatment in Germany since July 10.
There was speculation in the country that the sultan would be returning for the national day celebrations, largely triggered by a letter by an alleged official calling on citizens to celebrate the monarch’s return, which was circulated on messaging apps and social media.
Early in October, Oman’s royal court told Omanis that the sultan was in good health.
A statement by the court published ahead of the Muslim Eid Al Adha holiday did not say what kind of tests the 73-year-old ruler was undergoing or what he might be suffering from.
“His majesty the Sultan is in good health and is continuing... during the coming period the specified medical programme, which, with God’s grace, is achieving the reassuring and required results,” the statement, read on state television, said.
In private conversations, some Omanis have expressed worry about reports that the sultan, who has ruled since 1970.
In his four decades as ruler, Sultan Qaboos has transformed the small oil exporter from a poverty-stricken backwater torn by dissent into a prosperous state, earning a reputation as a mediator seeking to ease periodic tensions non-Arab Iran and Gulf Arab states.
A 2010 United Nations development index of 135 countries found Oman to be the most improved nation in terms of development in the past 40 years.
The UK’s Prince Harry is expected to attend national day celebrations later this month.