Dutch queen's state visit to Oman postponed

Dutch Queen Beatrix has postponed a state visit to Oman amid ongoing unrest in the strategic Gulf state.

The monarch had been due to begin a three-day visit to Oman on Sunday, accompanied by heir to the throne Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima.

Oman, ruled by a powerful family dynasty, is the latest Arab nation to be swept up in a wave of regional unrest that already has brought down two leaders and threatened the rule of others.

The Dutch government information service said Wednesday the decision to call off the visit was taken by both countries because "current developments demand all (Oman's) attention."

The royals were to have been joined by Dutch business leaders and government ministers on a trade-boosting visit.