Qatar's Emir Cedes Power to Son

(Wall Street Journal) Ellen Knickmeyer - Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, who transformed his nation into an international economic and political player after overthrowing his own father in 1995, ceded power Tuesday in favor of his 33-year-old son, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani - an unusual move in a region where few Arab rulers willingly surrender office while alive. The emir made no mention of whether his influential prime minister, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, would retain office. Sheik Tamim was born in 1980 and educated at Britain's military academy at Sandhurst. Qatar under the emir made a reputation of challenging fellow Arab governments. The Al-Jazeera news channel, established in 1996, provided critical coverage of other Arab governments. Qatar also actively supported rebels in Libya and Syria, supported regional Muslim Brotherhood movements, and challenged Saudi Arabia's dominance as a patron of conservative strains in Islam.

2013-06-25 00:00:00

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