Qatar’s new ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has praised his father Sheikh Hamad, saying the former emir achieved ‘miraculous’ successes during 18 years of ruling the country.
Delivering his first address to the nation on Wednesday, Sheikh Tamim hailed the country’s achievements under the rule of Sheikh Hamad, but he did not explain why he took over from his father. Sheikh Hamad seized power from his father, Sheikh Khalifa, in a coup in 1995, with the support of the armed forces and neighboring states. Sheikh Hamad officially abdicated power in favor of his 33-year-old son on June 25, saying it was time for a “young leadership” to take over. The new ruler unveiled his new cabinet a day after the power takeover. Sheikh Abdallah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani has been named as the new prime minister and interior minister, replacing the long-serving Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani. The new emir also announced Khalid al-Attiyah as foreign minister, while Ali Sherif al-Emadi has been named as the new finance minister. Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada remains in his post. During a televised speech, Sheikh Tamim stated that he would continue to follow his father’s path and that the country’s institutions would remain intact. Sheikh Tamim has not spoken about the future policies of Qatar regarding Syria, Libya and Egypt. Qatar has been dominated by the Al Thani family for almost 150 years and its governing system is like the monarchy in the UK. In Qatar, people have no role in running the affairs of the country and the decision-making process. Qatar also hosts the major air base of the United States in the Middle East, and Washington strongly supports the Qatari dynasty - which is in contradiction to the US claims of support for democratic governments. Qatar’s international standing has been greatly undermined, particularly across the Muslim world, due to Doha’s military support for the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Syria - a policy that has led to the killing of many people in the crisis-hit country.