Oman. The oil price crisis in the Middle East caused Oman to have a budget deficit of 21% of GDP in 2016; for 2017, 12% was calculated. In the first months of the year alone, it was forced to borrow $ 5 billion. Therefore, in May, the Sultanate announced plans to sell sukuk, Islamic bonds, worth $ 2 billion. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Oman.
In January, Oman agreed with US outgoing President Barack Obama to receive ten prisoners from Guant芍namo Bay prison in Cuba. During his time as president, Obama did not succeed in closing the notorious prison, but as a final measure he tried to “hand out” prisoners.
According to Countryaah.com, the world’s oldest astrolabium was found in 2014 on a shipwreck off the coast of Oman. The navigation tool, 17.5 centimeters in diameter and in bronze, is now dated to the years between 1496 and 1500. It is believed to have belonged to the ship Esmeralda, which was part of Vasco da Gama’s second expedition to India 1502-03.
History. – In the first fifteen years of the 21st century, the Oman it remained among the most stable states in the Persian Gulf. Under the absolute government of Sultan Qaboos bin Said (Sayyid Qābūs bin Sa῾īd) – who came to power in a coup in 1970 – a policy of national reconciliation was developed which gradually but steadily transformed the country into one of the most strong and influential in the region.
On the political level, Qaboos continued the reform process by completing important innovations, especially in the labor market. Even on the economic level, the sultan maintained a reformist approach, supporting greater diversification of the gross domestic product. Thanks to investments in the construction, tourism and more generally services sectors, the Oman grew rapidly without necessarily having to depend on the main production sector, that of hydrocarbons.
With the onset of the Arab springs of 2011, even the Oman experienced a season of protests, which returned shortly after with the sultan’s decision to delegate some of its broad legislative powers to the Consultative Council, the lower house of the local parliament whose members were directly elected by the citizens. Among the unsolved political issues of the country, the question of succession remained, given the lack of an official heir of Qābūs; the stability of the sultanate was also threatened by the dangers arising from the Yemeni civil conflict that broke out in 2015.
In foreign policy, the Oman maintained its two main guidelines both in relations with the West, and in particular in the fight against international terrorism, and in its special relationship with Irān, thanks above all to the joint management of the Strait of Hormuz (strategic choke point connecting the Middle East with the Indian Ocean through which about 17 million barrels of oil per day passed through in 2013). Just the Oman played an important role in the historic rapprochement between Washington and Teherān following the signing of the transitional agreement on Iranian nuclear power in November 2013.