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Qatar PM replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Influential Al Jazeera head appointed minister of economy and trade

Image Credit: REUTERS
Jordan's King Abdullah (2nd L) and his brother Prince Ali Bin Al Hussain (R) smile as they meet with Qatar's Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (2nd R) and his father, former Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani in Doha June 26, 2013.
Gulf News

Doha: Qatar’s new emir formed a government on Wednesday from which he excluded powerful prime minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Al Thani, replacing him with the minister of state for internal affairs, a statement said.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani was named prime minister as well as interior minister.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid Al Attiyah, was promoted to foreign minister, a post Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem held for 21 years.

Mohammad Al Sada retained the post of energy minister, a key position in the gas-rich Gulf state, the official QNA news agency reported.

The director of the influential Al Jazeera television network, Ahmad Bin Jasem Al Thani, was appointed minister of economy and trade.

Shaikh Ahmad, a member of the ruling family, announced his resignation as Al Jazeera head, a post he had held for two years, in a statement just minutes before the new cabinet was announced.

The new government was announced after the new Emir, Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, came to power following his father’s abdication on Tuesday.

In his first address to the nation, Shaikh Tamim said his country seeks ties with “all governments” and will not take sides, in a conciliatory speech that steered clear of the Syrian civil war.

His father, teamed up with the influential former premier, has campaigned in support of mostly Sunni Syrian rebels.

In his Wednesday speech, Shaikh Tamim said his country “rejects divisions in Arab societies on sectarian lines,” in reference to Sunni-Shiite tensions convulsing the region.

Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem had spearheaded a dynamic policy that staunchly backed Arab Spring uprisings, mainly in Libya and Syria, sparking controversy and creating both enemies and allies across the world.

He turned Qatar into a regional heavyweight, hosting major meetings, as the tiny gas-rich state profited from the declining roles of such traditional players as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.


UAE greetings

General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Wednesday held a meeting with Shaikh Tamim congratulating him on taking the reins of power in Qatar.

He conveyed greetings from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on assuming power. Shaikh Mohammad congratulated the Emir, referring to the confidence vested in him by former Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. He also extended his greetings to the Qatari people on the occasion, and that UAE leaders and people wished the new Qatari leader and people well.