Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, yesterday passed the country’s government to his son, Crown Prince Tamim.
“It is time to open a new page in the history of the country for a new generation to take over. I am convinced that he is ready for the responsibility (….) I am sure that you will support Sheikh Tamim as you have done with me, ‘said the Emir, 61, in a brief televised address.
Thousands of Qatari citizens and dignitaries gathered on Monday in the palace to swear loyalty to Tamim, 33, named heir in 2003 and who will assume the throne by his father’s decision, in an unprecedented event in the Arab monarchies. The process will take two days, after which they are expected to appoint his new government.
Hamad was officially crowned in 2000. During his reign, put the small country in the political and economic world map. He also created the television channel Al Jazeera, which opened in 1996. In addition, under his reign, Qatar won the competition to host the 2020 World Cup. The heir has an older brother who was relegated to the throne by his father, for supposed excessive ambitions, although the official version said that it was a voluntary decision.
Qatar is an emirate in the Middle East located on the peninsula of the Persian Gulf. It is the second smaller country in the Gulf, after Baréin. It borders with Arabia Saudi to the south and is surrounded by the Arabian or Persian Gulf. It is very rich in oil reserves, and it has the third largest gas reserve in the world.