Sultan Escapes Unhurt, Top Aide Killed In Car Accident
MUSCAT, Oman (AP) _ Sultan Qaboos of Oman has survived a serious car accident that killed the man who shaped Oman’s foreign and economic policies over the past 25 years.
The sultan was at the wheel Monday night when he stopped to talk to a citizen and another car traveling at high speed struck his automobile from behind, an official statement said.
The adviser, Qais Abdel-Munem al-Zawawi, died, and his brother, Omar, suffered minor injuries, Interior Minister Badr bin Saud told The Associated Press.
The accident occurred in Salalah, 625 miles south of the capital, Muscat, the statement said.
Al-Zawawi, 60, had been a key government figure since Sultan Qaboos, 54, overthrew his father, Saeed bin Taymour, in a bloodless coup in 1970.
As minister of state for foreign affairs from 1973 to 1983, al-Zawawi shaped Oman’s foreign policy and was instrumental in setting up strong ties with Western powers.
From 1983 until his death, he served as deputy prime minister and chairman of the Development and Construction Council. He was considered the sultan’s closest adviser and the architect of the country’s oil and economic policies.
He is survived by a wife and eight children.