[Update] Sheikh Tamim addresses the nation; new cabinet announced
(UPDATE) In his first address to the nation since becoming the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim thanked his father Sheikh Hamad for ruling the country, calling him “the knight who dismounted”.
Here are some excerpts from his speech that were tweeted live by @AJELive: “Qatar would not have been able to make these achievements without his (Sheikh Hamad) boldness. He left his position in an unprecedented step with high stature. I hope to be worthy of his trust.
“We must avoid arrogance because the modesty for which Qatari people are known is a sign of strength. It is natural that we put the interests on Qatar on top. There is no identity without belonging to wider circles.
We still face the challenge of development of humans, our most valuable asset. We will diversify the sources of income to the state of Qatar. We will continue to invest in education and health but will be more tough on the results.”
Sheikh Tamim also spoke of the nation’s commitment to Arab issues and solidarity with Palestinian people. “International relations will be pursued in the interest of Qataris… Qatar will be a refuge for the oppressed.” Read Al Jazeera’s full report here.
The new cabinet was announced out of which the most important change was the appointment of Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani as Qatar’s new Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. See full list of cabinet ministers below.
Yet another major move after HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated in favour of his son Sheikh Tamim. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani has been appointed as Qatar’s new prime minister, according to a report in Al Jazeera.
Sheikh Abdullah who is Qatar’s current Minister of State for Interior Affairs, will replace current PM Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani who also holds the foreign minister’s portfolio, as head of the new cabinet.
The Emir Sheikh Tamim is said to to make the announcement in his first major public speech before the Consultative Assembly at around 6:00pm (15:00GMT) today, along with other changes that he plans to bring to the government. However, it hasn’t been confirmed if Sheikh Abdullah will also take charge as foreign minister. Read Al Jazeera’s full report here.
Sheikh Abdullah was appointed as Minister of State for Interior on 2 July, 2008. Prior to this, he served as Assistant Commander of the Reinforcement Detachment, Commander of the Special Operations Detachment, Commander of the Special Unit, Assistant Director of the Special Security Forces, Director of the Special Security Forces and Commander of the Internal Security Forces (Lakhoya). He has a Bachelor Degree in Police Sciences from the Durham Military College (UK) and a License Degree in Law from the Arab University of Beirut.
The legacy of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim
Meanwhile, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, served as the Prime Minister (1992-2013) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992-2013). He was born in 1959, and lead both Qatar’s diplomatic relationship and sovereign fund investments. He has been the key strategist behind Qatar’s investments around the word.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim began his political career in 1982 when he was appointed as the Director of the Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. Since then he has held a gamut of positions, making him one of the most seasoned politicians and leaders in the country.
In September 1992, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, a title he retained even during the subsequent ministerial reshuffles in July 1995 (When Sheikh Hamad came to power), October 1996 and January 1999.
On September 16, 2003, Sheikh Hamad was appointed as First Deputy Prime Minister while retaining his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Following this, he was appointed to his current position of Prime Minister in April 2007, while retaining his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar.
Monday marked a historic day for Qatar as Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani handed over power to his son Sheikh Tamim, in a peaceful transition. The only precedent in recent history is when Sheikh Ali bin Abdallah Al Thani abdicated in favour of his son Sheikh Ahmed bin Abdullah in 1960. Read JustHere report on line of power and rulers of GCC can be read here.
Tuesday was declared a National Holiday. In an address to the nation at 8am, Sheikh Hamad handed over the reins of power to his son and Heir Apparent, and now the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim. Read JustHere’s report here.
The triumvirate of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and the then Energy minister H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah ushered in an era of fast-paced development in the country.
Al Attiyah has served as the Chief of the Emiri Diwan since 2011. Just prior to that he held Energy and Industry ministerial portfolio, and served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 2007.
(UPDATE) The new cabinet list that was published by QNA.
The new positions that have been added to the cabinet include:
- HE Major General Hamad Bin Ali Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Defence, a member of the Council of Ministers.
- HE Mr. Salah Bin Ghanim Nasser Al-Ali, Minister of Youth and Sports.
- HE Dr Issa Saad Jafali-Naimi, Minister of Administrative Development.
- HE Dr Hessa Sultan Al Jaber and Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
- HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transportation
- HE Dr Saleh Mohammed Salem grows as Minister of Development Planning and Statistics.
Picture of Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim: Courtesy World Economic Forum /Photo by Nader Daoud