Qatar Emir names new prime minister in shake-up

Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani named as the new head of government



Published: Tue 7 Mar 2023, 4:32 PM

Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, named his top diplomat as prime minister on Tuesday and brought in a new interior minister in what observers called the completion of a changing of the guard in the Gulf state.

The ruler's office announced that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had accepted "the resignation" of prime minister and interior minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.sworn in

Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was named as the new head of government and was sworn in within hours of the change, state media reported.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who headed the government security committee for last year's World Cup, became interior minister.

At 42, the new prime minister, an economist, is the same age as the Emir and the new interior minister is also of the same generation.

Sheikh Khalifa had also served in the Lekhwiya internal security force.

The outgoing prime minister, 55, had only been in office since January 2020.

"He was the last real link in government to the father Emir," said a diplomatic observer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

The current Emir's father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated in favour of his son in 2013. Sheikh Hamad had himself overthrown his father in a bloodless coup 18 years earlier.

The current Emir has not introduced any major changes to the foreign policy of the resolutely pro-US Gulf state.

As part of the latest changes, central bank governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani became chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds.

The new prime minister had previously held the post.

Defence Minister Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah becomes deputy prime minister in the new government.

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