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How much longer can Oman be an oasis of peace in the Middle East?


THRONE INTO QUESTION: The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said, pictured in his palace in Muscat, Oman in 2012. Omanis are worried about who will succeed the widely respected Qaboos, who has ruled for 46 years.+

THE DESERT country of Oman does not have the most stable of neighbors. To its west lies Saudi Arabia, some of whose citizens have been major contributors to Islamist militant groups. To its southwest is Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and Iran are backing diferent sides of a civil war that has killed at least 10,000 civilians and attracted both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

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PUTIN'S NEW EMPIRE Like a growing number of leaders in the Middle East, Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has a new set of friends in Moscow. After three decades on the sidelines, Russia is once again a major player in the region.