Qatari ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani reportedly plans to meet with the kingdom’s royal family and advisors in a bid to set the stage for a power transfer to his son.
The US - backed ruler is expected to meet with the royals and close aides on Monday to discuss passing over his crown to his 33 - year - old son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, press reports said Sunday. Sheikh Tamim is the fourth son of the Qatari ruler, and offspring of the second wife to the ruler, Sheikha Mozah. Tamim is currently the joint commander of Qatari armed forces and also heads the kingdom’s Olympic committee. Sources, meanwhile, state that the Qatari emir further plans a major cabinet reshuffle in an effort to bring in a considerable number of younger ministers following the father - to - son power shift.
The kingdom’s powerful Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, these sources say, may lose his job, or at least his second, concurrent position as foreign affairs minister.
The 61-year-old ruler in the oil-rich Persian Gulf state took over power in a 1995 coup against his own father. The tiny Arab state has been struggling with tensions within the ruling family as well as other powerful clans over the emir’s close ties with the United States, widely considered as an instrument of US foreign policy objectives in the strategic Persian Gulf and greater Middle East region. Qatar’s international standing has been greatly undermined, particularly across the Muslim world, by its deep involvement in promoting and supporting the foreign-backed militancy against the Syrian government. Qatar also took part in the US-led military intervention in Libya in efforts to remove the once Western-backed dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, following a popular revolution in the oil-rich African country.