Emir of Qatar abdicates throne

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Friday, June 28, 2013

H.H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Image: Kremlin.ru.

Qatari officials announced Monday that the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, would abdicate in favor of his son, the Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The outgoing leader Sheikh Hamad met with the ruling family along with several key people in the country and informed those invited of his decision to abdicate, reported Al Jazeera Television, which is owned by the Qatari state.

In an address to the nation aired Tuesday morning, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa announced his abdication and added that it is time for the younger generation to take charge.

The prime minister of Qatar may give up his post as part of the power transfer.

The abdication — a rare move in the politics of the monarchs of the region — is reportedly a step to stabilize the political atmosphere in this wealthy country.

Sheikh Hamad seized power in 1995 through a bloodless coup that removed his father from the throne. He has overseen the transformation of his country to a significant player in the politics of the region, including forming the Al Jazeera news channel, and supporting Arab nations that ousted their rulers during the Arab Spring.


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