Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine to begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

Middle east

Qatar’s emir to abdicate in favour of son, media say

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-24

Qatar's emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (left), plans to hand power to the crown prince (right), according to Qatari media reports on Monday. The transition would be a rarity for the Gulf states, where rulers usually serve until death.

Qatar’s ruler said Monday he plans to transfer power to the Gulf nation’s 33-year-old crown prince, a report said, in what would mark a rare transition of authority in a region where most leaders remain until death.

The report by Qatar-based Al Jazeera gave no other details about the transition, but the network was founded by Qatar’s government and closely reflects its views on internal issues.

Such a transfer would become the first major shift of rule among the Western-allied Gulf Arab states since a contentious transition in Kuwait in early 2006. It also would signal the sudden rise of a new generation at the helm of one of the region’s wealthiest and politically ambitious countries, whose international profile has risen sharply since the Arab Spring as a key sponsor of rebel forces in Libya and Syria.

“This is message to the rest of the region that Qatar is not just a outside player in the Arab Spring but is ready to make room for changes as well,” said Mustafa Alani, a regional analyst with the Gulf Research Center in Geneva.

Qatar’s reach is further extended by its global investment strategies - ranging from sports clubs such as football’s Paris Saint-Germain to aid for debt-burdened Greece and Italy - and its role as mediator in conflicts such as Sudan’s Darfur region and regional disputes including Palestinian political rifts. Qatar this week hosted a Syrian opposition conference attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and is the venue for possible U.S.-led peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Qatar has made no official statements on a possible leadership shift even as speculation has grown in recent weeks that the 61-year-old emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, would step down. There also are no clear reports about his health, but he is believed to be ailing.

The emir, however, met Sunday with visiting officials including Kerry and French President François Hollande.

While no immediate policy changes would be expected under the British-educated crown prince, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, a possible transition could include the departure of Qatar’s highly influential Sheik Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, who serves as prime minister and foreign minister.

Sheik Hamad has played a central role in expanding Qatar’s international clout since 1995, when the emir took power in a bloodless coup against his father.

The crown prince, too, has been active in pushing high-profile initiatives by Qatar, including winning the rights to host the 2022 World Cup and leading Doha’s unsuccessful effort for the 2020 Olympics. Doha has expressed interest in seeking the 2024 Games.

Sheik Tamim became the next in line to rule in 2003 after his older brother stepped aside.

The potential Qatar transition to a ruler born in the 1980s is in marked contrast to neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, which remains dominated by relative old guard figures in line to succeed the 90-year-old King Abdullah.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-06-24

  • FRANCE - QATAR

    Continuity trumps change on Hollande’s Qatar visit

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Qataris to buy French department store Printemps

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Will Beckham move to PSG help burnish Qatari image?

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)