Late Sultan of Oman vowed to keep Strait of Hormuz open – what now?

His cousin, Oman's new ruler Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, promises peaceful coexistence.

Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said sits during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) at the Beit Al Baraka Royal Palace in Muscat, Oman January 14, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said sits during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) at the Beit Al Baraka Royal Palace in Muscat, Oman January 14, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a speech following the announcement that he would take over his cousin's throne, Oman's new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, promised on Saturday to maintain the Gulf Arab state's foreign policy, which he said was built on peaceful coexistence and maintaining friendly ties with all nations.
Former Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al-Said, passed away early on Saturday, Oman state TV and the state news agency's Twitter account said.
He was 79 years old at the time of his death.
Qaboos, the eighth ruler of the al-Said dynasty that has governed Oman since 1744, was born in Dhofar on November 18, 1940.
In 1958, he headed to England to complete his education, strengthening historic ties between Britain and the Omani royal family. He studied for two years at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and served six months in the British Army in West Germany, returning to England in 1962 to study local government.
From 1964-70, Qaboos was confined to the royal palace in Salalah and denied any role in running Oman.
He became disenchanted with his father's methods and skeptical of the army's ability to defeat Dhofari rebels.
When oil exports began in 1967, Sultan Said, accustomed to tight financial constraints, was reluctant to use the revenue for development.
Britain, having considerable clout over Gulf rulers at the time, helped Qaboos overthrow his father in a palace coup on July 23, 1970. Sultan Said was forced to abdicate after some resistance and spent the last two years of his life in exile in England.
The new sultan, then only 30 years old, inherited a country with little infrastructure, few skilled administrators and none of the basic institutions of government.
Qaboos gradually asserted his authority by taking over the role of prime minister and the ministries of Finance, Defense and Foreign Affairs, which he retained.
He fought Dhofar rebels with help from Britain, Jordan and Iran. Through military advances and by offering rebel leaders state jobs, Qaboos ended the revolt within six years of taking office.
Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution directed Qaboos' attention to the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost a fifth of global oil passes. He pledged to keep the strait open, and in 1980 signed a deal to let US forces use Omani facilities for emergencies.
In 1981, Qaboos began widening political participation; free elections for an advisory council were held in 2003.
Prior to the announcement that Haitham would take the throne, many looked at Assad and Shihab bin Tariq al-Said as other likely options.
"I have already written down two names, in descending order, and put them in sealed envelopes in two different regions," Qaboos said in a 1997 interview when asked about the succession.