Elections to the Advisory Assembly
The Omanis elect the 85 representatives for an advisory assembly. The Council
does not have great political power, but may influence the choice of a
successor. The country is ruled by a sultan, who is 78 years old and has some
health problems, and he lacks a successor. Among the 737 candidates for the
Council are 40 women.
Overview of the capital city of Oman, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Oman plans embassy on the West Bank
Oman declares, as the first Gulf state, that the country will open an embassy
in Palestine. A mission in Ramallah should be prepared. The message is welcomed
by prominent Palestinians, but Hanan Ashrawi - who has been part of Palestinian
delegations at peace talks - voices a concern: that Oman sees it as a step
toward establishing diplomatic relations with Israel (see October 25,
Iran is being loaded for attacks on tankers
A Norwegian and a Japanese oil tanker are being attacked in the waters
between Oman and Iran, southeast of the Hormuz Strait. The tankers are damaged
by explosions and both crews are evacuated to nearby vessels. US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo claims that only Iran is capable of carrying out similar
attacks. Iran rejects the allegations, as well as after sabotaging four tankers
outside the United Arab Emirates, which was carried out in May.
Successful efforts against diseases
WHO explains that the communicable diseases measles and red hand have been
eradicated in the country. The World Health Organization calls for continued
vigilance and vaccination campaigns, especially as the state of war in countries
such as Yemen is jeopardizing the spread of infection.
A new committee addresses guest workers' disputes
From now on, guest workers should be able to get help with a legal assessment
if they end up in dispute with their employer. A special committee - called the
Reconciliation Committee - has been established and has been given tools to
enforce its decisions (see August 12, 2018). The system was
initially introduced in Musqat, but the idea is that after evaluation it will be
spread to the entire country.
Prestige prize for author from Oman
Jokha Alharthi is rewarded with the Man Booker International award. She is
the first Arabic author to receive the award, and she shares it with her
translator to English Marilyn Booth. The work that is being awarded is a novel
about three sisters in Oman entitled Celestial bodies, praised by the jury as
engaging and poetic.
Ports and airports are granted for the United States
24th of March
The Oman government concludes a framework agreement with the United States
that will allow some of the country's ports and airports to be used by US
vessels and fighter aircraft. According to the state news agency, it is mainly
the port of al-Duqm, which is strategically located 50 miles south of the Hormuz
Strait, where a third of the world's ship-borne oil cargo passes.
Oman on the EU blacklist
the 12th of March
Oman is placed on the EU list of states considered as a tax haven and
facilitates tax evasion from other countries. The EU is of the opinion that Oman
has not fulfilled pledges on tax measures.