Oman harmonizes in its political structure a diversity of different concepts of the state like hardly anywhere else in the world. Oman was is and stays to be an Islamic state. Live goes in the rhythm of Islam. The schari´a is the fundament of law, the traditional Muslim law from the holy Koran. The development of the country on the other hand is organized by so called five years plans - well known from former communist countries. Even the traditional structure and the influence of the tribes is in Oman as lively and as powerful as hardly anywhere else on the Arabian peninsula. But even democratization is in strong progress.
His Majesty Sultan Qabuus took over in 1970 an old Arabic system of power. In this system the sultan is the father of the people; the subject comes with his problems to the sultan himself. The sultan is the highest judge and charitable advisor. Such kind of a political system can only work sufficiently for everyone if the sultan is well educated and his people is not too numerous. This is in fact the case in Oman. Qabuus, educated in Great Britain, holds up in spite of this a lot of elements of the traditional style of government. This is important for the preservation of the cultural identity in a country of very rapid change. The institution of the sultan is in a way a place of rest in a very fast development in terms of politics and society.
Once a year His Majesty Sultan Qabous goes for a so called Meet-the-People Tour of about one month. This journey takes place normally in march. This tour goes over the years into every corner of the country. Qabous is accompanied by his ministers and other responsives. The members of the government should not be alienated to much from the simple standard of living of the ordinary people. So the travelers live in Spartan military camps. Water supply is strictly limited and fire-wood is carried. In even the loneliest places reception is hold. Everybody has the right to present his problems, hold his complaints and to make his suggestions face to face with the sultan. The responsible members of the government are drawn in and everything necessary is settled still at the place.
Not unimportant development was necessary even in the subject of foreign affairs. There were no contacts to other countries worth to be mentioned until 1970. But the nation should become a fully respected member of the international community of nations. So it was necessary to build a close network of diplomatic representations abroad. Principles for foreign affairs had to be formulated and membership in international organizations to be thought over. All this was done very fast: 1971 Oman entered the UN, the world health organization WHO and the international monetary found IMF; 1972 it became member of the UNESCO, the Interpol and the Arabian League. 1973 it joined the Organization of block-independent nations which was important for the awareness of independence of the sultanate. Today the sultanate is ordinary member 41 international, 14 Islamic and 32 Arabian organizations. It is represented in 21 organizations in the gulf like the Gulf Cooperation Council, but not in the OPEC.
The foreign affairs are based on friendly neighborhood, non interference into internal affairs as well as acknowledgment of international law and customs. As a block-free country the sultanate takes its opportunities to keep the peace. The Sultanate of Oman joins with the international community in calling for calling for the middle east peace process to continue in order to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement that will bring stability and prosperity to the region as well as security and confidence for all its peoples. Oman has given, and continues to give total support to the Palestinian people's right to decide their own feature in their own land, and to establish their own independent state. At the Sharm al -Shaikh Summit in March 1996, Oman reiterated its stance against all forms of violence and terrorism in the pursuit of political goals and hoped that effective measures would be taken to preserve the peace process. In January 1996, representatives of Oman and Israel signed a letter of understanding on the establishment of Trade Representative offices in Muscat and Tel Aviv to develop economic, scientific and trade relations. However in December 1996, Oman decided to Freeze its fledgling ties with Israel until it was felt that the present government of Israel was genuinely and sincerely committed to honour the peace process. In August 1996 Oman had urged Israel not to delay negotiations with the Palestinians after a series of events that had disrupted the fragile peace talks. Oman has expressed growing concern about the continued occupation by Israel of Arab land and the building of settlements. Oman is committed to its policy of supporting United Nations Resolution and has advised Iraq through diplomatic channels that UN weapons inspections must be allowed to continue. Oman has always urged a peaceful solution, reached through diplomacy, to such crises in order to avoid repetition of the conflict of 1991. At the same time Oman has always expressed deep concern for the sufferings of the Iraqi people.
In November 1992, a ceremony was held in Riyadh to sign the final border maps between Oman and Saudi Arabia. The demarcation agreement had been signed between the two countries in March 1990. Copies of maps showing the international boundaries between Oman and Saudi Arabia were deposited with the Arab League in Cairo in November 1995.
In June 1995 Oman and Yemen completed the demarcation of their borders in accordance with an agreement signed in 1992. In 1997, construction began on on the 243 km highway linking Dhofar with Yemen. Later in November, a ceremony was held in Cairo when Oman and Yemen deposited their international boundary maps with the Arab League.
Oman has now demarcated all her land and sea boundaries with the exception of one maritime boundary with Pakistan. Oman and Qatar have strengthened diplomatic ties as a result of which their nationals can now travel to the others' country on an identity card instead of a passport. This easing of border controls came into force in September 1995. Oman and the UAE have had a similar agreement since 1992.