Qatar's emir bows out, selects son as successor
The emir of Qatar handed power to his son on Tuesday at a time when the country has parlayed its media empire and natural gas riches into regional influence that includes arming Syrian rebels and building a Museum of Islamic Art.
In a televised speech, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani selected his fourth son, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, to succeed him. A Cabinet shuffle is expected in the transition, but it was not clear whether there would be a significant shift in foreign policy under the new leader, who is known more for his expertise on domestic matters.
“The time has come to open a new page in the journey of our nation that would have a new generation carry the responsibilities with their innovative ideas,” said the 61-year-old emir, a close U.S. ally.
“I will transfer power to Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and I am fully certain that he is up to the responsibility, deserving the confidence, capable of shouldering the responsibility and fulfilling the mission.”
The outgoing emir did not indicate why he was stepping aside — a rare move in the Arab world — except to say that it was time for younger leadership.
There have been suggestions that his son, deputy commander of the armed forces, may relax civil rights restrictions to avoid the kind of dissent that propelled the Arab Spring.
Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, who serves as foreign minister and has been the architect of Qatar's international forays, may be replaced under the new leader, to whom he is distantly related. In the short term, the new emir is expected to continue a robust checkbook diplomacy that helped bring down Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and pledged billions of dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt.
The departing emir, who seized power from his father in a 1995 coup, has irritated world leaders, notably former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who viewed Qatar as a brash upstart out to remake the established Arab order.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chlorine gas attacks in Syria blamed on Assad
- Ireland’s Catholic leaders stunned as voters deliver landslide approval of gay marriage legalization
- Officials claim world duty to Mideast at international forum
- Islamic State terrorists break into Palmyra museum, Syria says
- Burundi opposition figure Feruzi shot dead in capital
- Questions rife in deadly cartel, police shootout at Mexico ranch
- Salvadoran Archbishop Romero beatified
- 4 sentenced to die in torture slaying of falsely accused woman in Kabul
- German’s search for U.S. soldier father ends in Pa.
- Protesting Macedonians demand government’s resignation
- Pentagon says Iran warships ‘linked up’ with cargo vessel