Former MK Who Aided Hezbollah to Head New Qatar Channel (05/05/2014, IsraelNationalNews.com)

Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel after revealing information to Hezbollah, will head an « anti-Muslim Brotherhood » Qatari network.
A former Member of Knesset who was forced to flee Israel after it was revealed that he revealed sensitive security details to Hezbollah terrorists will head a new Qatar-based television network.

The United Arab Emirates-based The National website reported on Sunday that Azmi Bishara, who now heads the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, will head a new television station as a political counterweight to Al Jazeera.

The new station will be an Arabic-language news channel based in London and broadcasting across the Arab world, according to The National. It is one of several new media ventures launched under the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Bishara is considered a close confidant of the Emir, the website noted.

Bishara is still wanted for questioning in Israel for transmitting information to Hezbollah in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, helping them more accurately target Israeli citizens in their missile war against northern Israel. Until the 2011 passing of the « Bishara Law, » the former MK was still receiving full pension from Israel, getting a total of 500,000 shekels (roughly $143,000).

Qatar has come under fire from some countries in the Arab world over the Al Jazeera network, which has been called « the Muslim Brotherhood channel » and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years.

Recently, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, in protest over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt.

The new channel, which was proposed by Bishara himself, is aimed at dispelling the notion that Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood. Bishara, according to The National, is “willing to criticize the group publicly.”

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« Game of Thrones » à Riyad (15/04/2014, ORIENT XXI)

Pour la première fois de l’histoire de l’Arabie saoudite, le roi a décidé de façon formelle qui sera l’héritier de son successeur. En nommant vice-prince héritier le plus jeune des fils vivants du fondateur du royaume, il accélère le passage du pouvoir à la deuxième génération des enfants d’Abdelaziz. Indépendamment des luttes pour le pouvoir qui devraient s’exacerber entre les petits-fils, cette transition prochaine ne rajeunira pas l’âge des monarques saoudiens.

La publication jeudi 27 mars 2014 d’un décret royal nommant le prince Mouqrin Ben Abdelaziz — le plus jeune des fils encore vivants du fondateur du royaume Abdelaziz Ibn Saoud — à la fonction de vice-prince héritier a surpris à plus d’un titre. Non par le choix de son titulaire mais par la nature inédite de cette fonction. Début février, Mouqrin avait en effet déjà été nommé second vice-premier ministre. Le roi gardant pour lui le titre de premier ministre et le prince héritier étant traditionnellement premier vice-premier ministre, le second vice-premier ministre est, tout aussi traditionnellement et de façon présomptive, le futur prince héritier. Il paraissait alors déjà explicite aux yeux de tous que Mouqrin serait prince héritier à la suite de Salman lorsque ce dernier succéderait à Abdallah. Que cela n’ait pas été assez clair, ou au contraire que cela l’était tellement que de nombreux princes d’importance s’étaient mis à intriguer pour saper l’avenir de Mouqrin, toujours est-il qu’Abdallah a jugé nécessaire de verrouiller cet ordre de succession en créant un « vice-prince héritier », une première dans l’histoire du royaume.

UN LIGNAGE IMPARDONNABLE POUR CERTAINS

La conséquence de l’irrévocabilité du décret est que Salman se voit privé à l’avance du choix de son propre héritier, tant il paraît impossible, lorsqu’il accédera au trône, qu’il puisse le remettre en cause. Quelques jours avant sa publication, Abdallah a en effet fait valider son choix par le Conseil d’allégeance, conseil de famille qu’il a créé en 2006 pour trancher les questions de succession alors que les intrigues de palais se développaient sur la question. Au passage, on note que cette ratification a obtenu les suffrages de plus des trois quarts de ses membres. Ce qui, autrement présenté, signifie qu’une forte minorité de ses membres s’y est ouvertement opposée. Cette opposition ne tient pas aux compétences du plus jeune des fils d’Abdelaziz, né en 1945. Ancien pilote de F-15 formé au Royaume Uni, ancien chef des services de renseignements (de 2005 à 2012 ), il a été gouverneur des provinces de Hail et de Médine. Bref, il a toutes les compétences communément requises pour un futur souverain d’Arabie saoudite. Cependant, ce que ne lui pardonneraient pas nombre de ses demi-frères et leurs héritiers, c’est son lignage : la mère de Mouqrin, Baraka — une Yéménite, aurait été une esclave ou une concubine et non l’une des véritables épouses légitimes d’Abdelaziz.

ABDICATION IMMINENTE DU ROI ABDALLAH ?

L’autre surprise tient à la date choisie pour publier ce décret : la veille de l’arrivée en visite officielle du président américain Barack Obama. Certains ont cru y lire un geste de défiance à l’endroit des États-Unis, leur signifiant que l’on ne tenait pas compte de leur avis dans la succession. C’est un double contresens : d’une part, les Américains savent très bien qu’en ce qui concerne les affaires internes à la famille royale leur influence est nulle et que tout avis exprimé, même en privé, serait contre-productif. De plus, dans le passé, Washington a eu du mal à gérer sa relation avec le roi Fahd, réputé pro-américain, tandis que les choses ont été beaucoup plus carrées avec son successeur Abdallah, pourtant régulièrement présenté depuis les années 1970 comme anti-américain par la presse d’outre-Atlantique. Bien au contraire, c’était pour le roi une façon de présenter directement aux dirigeants américains celui à qui ils auraient affaire dans les années à venir.

Il est également intéressant de noter qu’avant même la publication du décret, les réseaux sociaux, dont la jeunesse saoudienne est fort friande – c’est le pays du monde où le pourcentage d’usages de Twitter est le plus élevé, il est proche des 50 % –, bruissaient de la nouvelle de la nomination de Mouqrin au poste de prince héritier et de l’abdication imminente du roi Abdallah. D’où la rumeur insistante selon laquelle le scénario le plus vraisemblable serait la convocation par le Conseil d’allégeance d’un comité de médecins qui déclarerait inapte à gouverner le prince Salman, l’actuel prince héritier, laissant ainsi le champ libre à Mouqrin. De fait, la délégation américaine a pu constater que le roi Abdallah, âgé de plus de 90 ans (il serait né en 1923) portait en permanence une aide respiratoire et, toujours de source américaine, un cancer ne lui laisserait que quelques mois à vivre. Salman, âgé de 78 ans, passe quant à lui pour avoir une santé fragile. On a parlé à son propos de leucémie et d’Alzheimer. Son règne, s’il advenait, aurait toutes les chances d’être bref. S’il meurt avant d’accéder au trône, ce serait, après Sultan et Nayef, le troisième prince héritier que le roi Abdallah enterrerait de son vivant, comme par hasard trois membres de la puissante branche Soudayri de la famille royale. C’est sans doute pour faire mentir ce scénario qu’au début de l’année le prince Salman a enchaîné les voyages, avec une tournée asiatique l’emmenant tour à tour au Pakistan, en Inde, en Chine, au Japon et aux Maldives, avant de représenter le roi au Koweït pour un sommet de la Ligue arabe.

LUTTES D’INFLUENCE À L’HORIZON

Il ne s’agit pas ici de s’engager dans des spéculations sur les luttes d’influences et les successeurs probables du roi. Il ne fait guère de doute (le vote au sein du Conseil d’allégeance l’atteste, ainsi que l’inhabituelle transparence qui a permis d’en prendre connaissance) que ces luttes d’influence font et feront rage pour savoir qui viendra après lui. Après Mouqrin, lorsque arrivera le temps de passer à la génération suivante, le roi Abdallah espèrerait que soit placé son fils Mitab, chef de la Garde nationale. Mais Mohammed Ben Nayef, petit-fils de la branche Soudayri et ministre de l’intérieur est aussi considéré comme un prétendant sérieux. Néammoins, dans ce domaine, les favoris tombent fréquemment en disgrâce et, s’agissant de Mitab, les fils de rois perdent en faveur lorsque leur père n’est plus de ce monde. Le choix de Mouqrin par Abdallah fait-il partie d’une stratégie anticipatrice qui favoriserait Mitab ? En réalité, ces supputations s’apparentent à ce que fut la « kremlinologie » : les observateurs en sont réduits à pronostiquer à partir d’indices apparents très ténus, tandis que ceux qui savent vraiment sont à la fois fort peu nombreux et restent mutiques.

DES OCTOGÉNAIRES AUX AFFAIRES

Quoi qu’il en soit, Mouqrin étant le plus jeune des fils d’Abdelaziz, son successeur sera pour la première fois un petit-fils du fondateur du royaume. Toutes les interrogations subsistent quant à la lignée qui reprendra le flambeau et le Conseil d’allégeance a justement été créé pour arbitrer les conflits. Cependant, il ne faudrait pas s’imaginer que le changement de génération va rajeunir la monarchie dans ce pays dont l’écrasante majorité a moins de trente ans. C’est même tout le contraire. Depuis la mort d’Ibn Saoud en 1953, les rois qui se sont succédé appartenaient tous à la génération de ses fils. Plus de soixante ans après, on n’a toujours pas épuisé la seconde génération qui s’éteindra avec le règne de Mouqrin. Or, ce dernier est plus jeune que le plus âgé de ses neveux ! Et les petits-fils d’Abdelaziz sont par définition beaucoup plus nombreux que la génération précédente. Par conséquent, à moins que la famille Al-Saoud ne change en profondeur le mécanisme de succession – et rien ne l’indique – l’Arabie saoudite se prépare à être dirigée pour encore de très nombreuses années au mieux par des septuagénaires, si ce n’est par des octogénaires voire des nonagénaires.

 

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Saudi opposition reports King Abdullah has terminal lung cancer (18/04/2014, WorldTribune.com)

Saudi King Abdullah was said to be dying of cancer.
An opposition research group said Abdullah was diagnosed with lung cancer.The Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs, quoting sources in Saudi Arabia and the United States, said Abdullah was told he could be dead by the end of 2014.
“The king has been told by his medical team he may have as little as six months left to live,” the institute said.
In a statement on April 17, the institute, aligned with the Shi’ite opposition, said Abdullah was “suffering from terminal lung cancer.” The statement said Abdullah, known as a chain smoker, was seen wearing a breathing tube during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28. The king was also seen with the tube on April 4 when Abdullah returned to Riyad from his retreat in Rawdat Khuraim.
“The recent scramble to designate a line of succession is not surprising given that King Abdullah has only a few months left, due to advancing age in addition to his terminal illness,” institute policy analyst Rachel Hertzman said.
The institute said the king’s deterioration sparked a series of
appointments. Over the last month, Abdullah, reported to be from 90 to 98
years old, appointed his half-brother Prince Muqrin as successor to the
crown prince and dismissed intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.
Abdullah was expected to announce another series of appointments over
the next few days. The institute said the appointments have intensified the
power struggle within the royal family.
“Observers expect the news of Abdullah’s condition to lead to intense
vying for power among the members of the vast ruling family,” the institute
said.

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صحف غربية: قطر تفتح فرعاً لجامعة الحرس الثوري الايراني

نشرت المجلة البريطانية « بيسي تل » في تقريراً له قيام جامعة بيام نور الإيرانية التابعة لقيادات الحرس الثوري الإيراني بإفتتاح فرعاً جديداً لها وسط العاصمة القطرية الدوحة , الأمر الذي وصفته الصحيفة بإشارة إلى دوافع سياسية مرتبطة بين كلا من الدوحة وطهران ، معلقتاًان الأمر أثار جدلا وغضبا واسعا في أوساط الأكاديميين العرب.

و حسب وكالآت ايرانية يهدف فرع الجامعة الذي يتم تسجيل طلاب خليجين وعرب به من مختلف الدول العربية بالتنسيق مع السلطات القطرية إلى تدريس الفكر « الخميني »كما وصفوه الأكاديميين تحت غطاء نشر العلم فضلا عن قيام الجامعة بإبتعاث العديد من طلاب الجامعة إلى طهران من اجل السيطرة على عقولهم تحت التأثيرات العلمية والفكرية.

كما اكدت الصحيفة البريطانية أن رئيس جامعة بيام نور الإيرانية البروفسير فرج راد شهريار المقرب من الحرس الثوري الإيراني احد المدافعين عن نظام بشار الأسد وسبق وان التقي بشار الأسد عدة مرات خلال الثلاث سنوات الماضية داخل دمشق وخارجها ، كما أن الجامعة تضم في مختلف فروعها ما يقرب من ملون طالب وطالبة

Publié dans Iran, Qatar | Laisser un commentaire

What is Qatar’s Tamim thinking, after all? ( Gulf News, 12/03/2014)

It is difficult to imagine the dynamics of the November 23, 2013 meeting when Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani was effectively summoned to Riyadh and made to sign a pledge of compliance before Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.

The 32-year-old emir was reportedly given a dressing down by the 89-year-old king in a meeting that was facilitated by 84-year-old veteran mediator and emir of Kuwait, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states had had enough of Qatar’s regional adventurism. They wanted an end to its interference in their internal affairs, its sheltering of Muslim Brotherhood figures who incite against them, as well as its support for the group in Egypt and the wider Middle East. Faced with elder statesmen of his grandfather’s generation, Tamim complied.

Last week, however, three Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, withdrew their ambassadors from Doha due to what they said was Qatar’s failure to live up to that pledge.

The Qatari government issued a short and diplomatic response, expressing disappointment, but its media and anonymous government officials mobilised the next day to send a clear message: Qatar will not change its ways “no matter what theprice”.

From the Gulf trio’s perspective, after over a decade of a menacing Qatari foreign policy, they were presented with a golden opportunity to reorient Doha when Qatar’s former Emir Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa decided to abdicate in favour of his son Tamim last June. This was a chance to rein in a young emir before controversial policies inherited from his father were entrenched into his new regime.

Age disparity, however, may have worked for both sides. It is important to remember that the median age of Shaikh Tamim’s counterparts in the Gulf is 75, and that is likely to have factored into his decision to defy his neighbours.

With the Saudi ultimatum, Shaikh Tamim was faced with two options: totally submit to his neighbours’ diktats and allow them to mould the new Qatar into a subordinate regime for the rest of his term as emir, or resist for now, risking the wrath of his elder counterparts for a decade or two until the next generation of rulers came in, with whom he could start afresh. In about five decades, roles may be reversed and he may find himself to be an elder statesman — in seniority and age — among what may be a significantly younger group of leaders in the Gulf. For Tamim, the decision to assert independence today may have been a long-term investment, however risky it may be.

Facing isolation from much bigger and powerful neighbours, Qatar may look to other states in the neighbourhood for support. Following Tamim’s phone call to Oman’s Sultan Qaboos to discuss the crisis, speculation ran rife that Doha would seek an “alliance” with Oman, leading to the emergence of two axes in the GCC.

Qatar has been referred to as a maverick in the region. The real maverick in the Gulf however is Oman. It was Oman, after all, that sang a different tune than its neighbours when it became the only Gulf state not to sever ties with Egypt’s Sadat after he signed a peace treaty with the Israelis, then became the first Gulf state to give them diplomatic recognition. It established relations with Khomeini’s Iran and refrained from allying with its neighbours against it during Iraq’s war on that country.

More recently, it has quashed the idea of a Gulf union that Saudi Arabia has insisted on, and instead of pushing for more sanctions and war on Iran, it has facilitated its coming out of its international pariah status. Since then, bilateral relations have witnessed a massive boost, with joint projects worth billions of dollars being announced in recent weeks.

Yet, Oman has never faced the rebuke that Qatar faces today. Its foreign policy, while unorthodox for the region, was based primarily on fierce pragmatism that was, unlike Qatar’s, kept in check by its aversion to stepping on its neighbours’ toes.

Aside from being bent on acting independently of the GCC, there’s very little in policy positions that Oman and Qatar share. Doha’s activist regional policy is antithetical to Muscat’s approach of regional passivity, and it is unlikely to find much favour there. It is therefore highly unlikely that Oman would enter any kind of alliance that may antagonise the GCC or create a counterweight to the Gulf trio.

Shaikh Tamim is likely to be well aware of this, which is why he may instead be looking to Oman for empathy and a pat of support on the back.

When Sultan Qaboos came to power at age 30 in 1970, he too was the youngest ruler of a Gulf Arab state. Oman faced regional isolation and multiple rebellions that had, to varying degrees, received support from the very states it joined in founding the GCC with a decade later. Even after the GCC’s founding, interference in Oman’s affairs did not cease. But that did not deter it from continuing to function within the GCC’s framework while charting a foreign policy independent of it. Gulf neighbours may have frowned upon it, but they learnt to come to terms with it over the years.

Today, Sultan Qaboos is the only living ruler among the founders of the GCC, and he is the longest-reigning Arab ruler. Having had a head start from his generation of rulers, he commands the kind of respect in the region that Shaikh Tamim perhaps seeks to similarly achieve in the coming decades — hoping that the GCC will one day come to terms with a Qatar that does not rotate in its neighbours’ orbit.

The task ahead may be significantly more difficult though — considering Qatar’s size, geography and controversial regional policies. But this is a gamble that Shaikh Tamim appears to have chosen to take.

Publié dans Arabie saoudite, Emirats arabes unis, Koweït, Qatar | Tagué | Laisser un commentaire

Ibrahim thanks Syrian, Qatari leaderships for nuns’ release (Al-Safir, 10/03/2014)

General Security Director General Major Abbas Ibrahim thanked the Syrian government and the Qatari leadership for their role in the release of 13 nuns and three housemaids who were kidnapped last year by Syrian rebels. « The Syrian leadership offered all the necessary [effort] to complete the deal of the nuns’ release,” Ibrahim tolf As-Safir newspaper in remarks published Monday. He also thanked the Qatari leadership “that followed up on the deal.”
Ibrahim also said that President Michel Suleiman had worked toward the nuns’ release.
“Suleiman followed up on all phases of the strenuous negotiations, and refused to offer any concessions that might infringe on the country’s sovereignty.” The General Security chief pledged to deploy the same effort to release Bishop Yuhanna Ibrahim, head of Aleppo’s Syriac Orthodox diocese, and Boulos Yaziji, head of the the city’s Greek Orthodox diocese. Ibrahim said that the kidnappers tried to change the deal at the last minute, in an attempt to get further concessions.

“We refused to surrender to more compromises,” he said. At midnight on Sunday, the nuns were released and turned over to Syrian authorities. A monitoring group said the release was secured in exchange for some 150 women prisoners being held in Syria’s regime jails. The 13 nuns and three maids were kidnapped from the famed Christian hamlet of Maalula and taken to the nearby rebel-held town of Yabrud, where they were held by Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Publié dans Liban, Qatar, Syrie | Tagué , , | Laisser un commentaire

Egypt Withdraws Ambassador From Qatar (NYT, 06/03/2014)

Egypt on Thursday became the fourth Arab state in two days to pull its ambassador from Qatar over its support for Islamists around the region, including the deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, and his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood.

After the withdrawal of envoys from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Egypt’s statement formalizes a breach between Cairo and Doha that began shortly after the military ouster of Mr. Morsi last summer. Its move adds to Qatar’s sudden isolation in the region and at the same time reinforces the alliance binding Egypt’s new military-backed government to the other oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were deeply apprehensive about the potential influence on their own populations of either democratic or Islamist leadership in Cairo. Since the Egyptian military removed Mr. Morsi, the conservative gulf states have donated billions of dollars to help support the new government, just as Qatar had spent heavily to try to prop up the previous Islamist one. Egyptian state news media declared Thursday that most of the Arab world had now repudiated Qatar, asserting that Doha must now decide whether it would stand on the side of “Arab solidarity” or against it. Calling the withdrawal of the five envoys a beginning attempt “to correct the path of the Qatari government,” the Egyptian government asserted that “Qatar’s problem is not with us but with the majority of the Arab countries,” state media reported. Alluding to its continuing struggle to suppress the now-outlawed Islamist opposition — characterized by the new government as terrorists — Egypt said Qatar must now choose between supporting Egypt against “the grave challenges it is facing,” or “stand on the other side and bear the consequences. ”The contest for power in Cairo was already at the heart of the split between Qatar and the other Persian Gulf states. While the other gulf monarchies cheered the military takeover, Qatar continued to use its satellite news channel Al Jazeera to support the Brotherhood in Egypt and allied Islamists around the region. Along with London and Istanbul, Doha has become a hub for Brotherhood figures in exile.

On Wednesday, Qatar responded to the withdrawal of the other gulf state ambassadors by accusing their monarchies of backing a reactionary dictatorship in Egypt against the wishes of their citizens. Nasser bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, a former Qatari ambassador to Washington, said in an interview with Al Jazeera’s English-language network that the other gulf states were lashing out over Qatar’s failure to back Egypt’s new military leader, Field Marshal Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi. “The whole issue is really about Sisi,” Mr. Khalifa said. “These countries are supporting a coup d’état” and “they want Qatar to support such a policy” but “we will never support another regime that kills its own people.”Noting that Egypt’s ambassador to Qatar had been at home in Cairo since February, Egypt’s cabinet said Thursday that he would not be returning and that “the decision to keep him is a political and sovereign decision,” the state newspaper reported.

 

 
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L’Arabie, les Emirats et Bahreïn rappellent leurs ambassadeurs au Qatar (5 mars 2014, Romandie)

L’Arabie saoudite, les Emirats arabes unis et Bahreïn ont décidé mercredi de rappeler leurs ambassadeurs au Qatar, reprochant à Doha ses ingérences dans les affaires de ses voisins, un geste sans précédent dans les relations entre pays arabes du Golfe.

Cette décision a été annoncée par l’agence officielle saoudienne SPA au lendemain d’une réunion houleuse, selon la presse, des ministres des Affaires étrangères des monarchies arabes du Golfe à Ryad.

Les pays du Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG) ont tout fait auprès du Qatar pour s’entendre sur une politique unifiée (…) garantissant la non ingérence de façon directe ou indirecte dans les affaires internes de chacun des pays membres, selon le texte d’un communiqué des trois pays.

Il a été demandé au Qatar de ne soutenir aucune action de nature à menacer la sécurité et la stabilité des Etats membres, ajoute le communiqué en citant notamment les campagnes dans les médias.

Le communiqué souligne qu’en dépit de l’engagement de l’émir du Qatar, cheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani –lors d’un mini-sommet avec l’émir du Koweït et le roi d’Arabie à Ryad en novembre–, à respecter ces principes, son pays ne l’a pas fait.

Publié dans Arabie saoudite, Emirats arabes unis, Moyen-Orient, Qatar | Tagué , , , , , | Laisser un commentaire

Emir announces major shake-up of ministries and councils (DohaNews, 21/02/2014)

The Emir has just announced a significant revamp of Qatar’s ministries and councils, the first major reorganization of the country’s governing bodies since he assumed power last June.

The new line-up, which is effective immediately, includes bringing the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) under the control of the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning, and the addition of two new separate departments for climate change and combating pollution at the Ministry of Environment.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has also made significant changes to the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) and the much-criticized Supreme Education Council (SEC), which has been under fire for poor student performance, among other things.

The shakeup comes months after the Emir pledged to cut the fat in government by reducing redundancies, ensuring only qualified people serve in posts and not squandering money.

Here are some of the main changes at a glance:

The Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, has been appointed as Chairman of both the SCH and the SEC (posts previously held by Sheikh Tamim as Deputy Emir);
The Office of Intellectual Property Rights at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has been abolished. Furthermore, new departments for planning, quality and legal affairs and a new office for lawyers’ affairs will be established at the MOJ;
State-backed Qatar News Agency (QNA) has been brought under the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, and the Culture Minister will be responsible for monitoring its work;
The SEC has some new board members – The Prime Minister takes over from the Emir as Chairman, Dr Mohamed bin Abdulwahid Ali Al Hammadi and Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali join, and Dr. Sigbrit Franke and Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh Al Thani step down; and
The SCH board also sees some changes – new members include the UK’s former chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley and Dr. Jenchen Le, who join fellow international member Lord Ara Darzi on the board.
The announcement follows a shakeup of the committee managing the country’s 2022 World Cup last month.

During that change, the Emir replaced the board of directors with members of his new Cabinet, and renamed the body to reflect its new focus on stadia-building and infrastructure development.

A “Local Organizing Committee” was formed to take over other tasks held by the Supreme Committee, including event and operational planning, as well as coordination with FIFA.

Publié dans Qatar | Tagué | Laisser un commentaire

Saudi threatens to isolate Qatar for its support of Muslim Brotherhood (Al Monitor, 20/02/2014)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the Emir of Qatar did not abide by the agreement he signed in a summit in Riyadh in the presence of the Emir of Kuwait two months ago, to stop the use of the Qatari soil in actions that harm the KingdomSaudi Arabia has threatened to close its border and airspace with Qatar if Doha doesn’t stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Arab newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The London-based newspaper, which is considered to be very close to the decision-makers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said a Saudi official had delivered the urgent message from the Saudi government to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The message included a « threat » that Riyadh is reviewing its relations with Doha. This could cause a significant change that may lead to the freezing of the relationship.

Saudi Arabia issued the warning saying it is running out of patience towards Qatar’s policies with regards supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement and breaching the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s guidelines for the policies and positions, particularly towards Egypt.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the Emir of Qatar did not abide by the agreement he signed in a summit in Riyadh in the presence of the Emir of Kuwait two months ago, to stop the use of the Qatari soil in actions that harm the Kingdom.

Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, had the emir of Qatar write the vow and sign it in the presence of the Emir of Kuwait because he had doubts about the Qatari’s commitment to the agreement, as had happened in previous agreements conducted with him and his father, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani .

Saudi accuses its neighbour of supporting the Houthis in Yemen with money and weapons through one of the Sheikhs of the Qatari royal family, as well as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Kingdom through the Qatari Sheikh himself.

This Saudi threat coincides with a similar Egyptian threat that was expressed by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Dr Nabil Fahmy, who said, « We reject the Qatari stance, in form and content, and there should not be any intervention in internal Egyptian affairs. »

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt have participated in supporting a coup attempt in Qatar in 1996 which did not succeed. Qatari forces loyal to the ousted Prince crept, under the supervision of Egyptian and Saudi officers, in to Qatari land in order to oust Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa and return his father Sheikh Khalifa to power.

Saudi has threatened to shut its land border with Qatar, which means controlling Qatar entirely, because it does not have any territorial access to the world except through the Saudi port, preventing it from using Saudi airspace and withdrawing the licenses of Qatar Airways to operate flights between Saudi Arabian cities.

Al-Arab newspaper said Mosaed Al-Ayban, Saudi Arabia’s Secretary of State, has made several trips to Gulf capitals to inform their leaders about the measures his government expect to take against Qatar.

Observers noted that Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, joined the meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Kuwait beside the Emir of Kuwait, in an unprecedented step, which confirms Qatar seeks the help of Kuwait.

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