Oman

Oman begins first political transition in 50 years

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (R) helps carry the coffin of Sultan Qaboos. Photo: AFP via Getty

Oman's first political transition in half a century has been marked by visits from world leaders and tributes to Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died on Friday.

Why it matters: Qaboos' cousin and successor, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, has said he'll maintain the foreign policy neutrality that's made Oman a key mediator, including between the U.S. and Iran.

Saudi envoy arrives in Washington amid fear of U.S.-Iran war

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump take part in a welcome ceremony in Saudi Arabia accompanied Prince Khalid bin Salman in 2017. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A senior Saudi envoy has arrived in Washington and will meet Monday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior White House and Pentagon officials in an attempt to de-escalate the crisis in the Gulf.

Why it matters: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman — a former ambassador to the U.S. — was urgently sent to Washington by his brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia is deeply concerned it could become engulfed in uncontrolled escalation between the U.S. and Iran following President Trump's decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.