Qatar Emir appoints Sheikh Mohammed as new PM

Bulsha:- Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has appointed the country’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, as the new prime minister in a move that analysts say signals a renewed focus on bolstering the Gulf state’s global presence.

This comes after Qatar successfully mended fences with regional rivals and hosted the 2022 World Cup, a major sporting event that aimed to elevate the country’s global profile and influence beyond its gas wealth.

Along with the new prime minister, the emir’s office also announced a cabinet reshuffle that reappointed the finance and energy ministers, two crucial positions in the wealthy nation that is a major gas producer.

Sheikh Mohammed has been Qatar’s foreign minister since 2016 and played a critical role in representing Doha during the three-and-a-half-year boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies, which ended in early 2021.

Qatari’s top priority 
Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University, sees Sheikh Mohammed’s appointment as a clear message that foreign policy and presence on the international scene remain a top priority for Qatar.

“Having an active foreign minister, who worked in a crucial and critical time, as prime minister is a clear message,” Zweiri said.

Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, which drew criticism over human rights, was part of the country’s strategy to elevate its global profile and expand its influence beyond its gas wealth.

The emir, Sheikh Tamim, had steered Qatar through the blockade imposed by four Arab states on Doha for backing Islamists they deemed a threat and for its ties with Iran.

Andreas Krieg, a professor at King’s College in London, sees Qatar as a “lot more outward-looking” following the World Cup and the end of the blockade.

He describes Sheikh Mohammed as a diplomat by profession who is also a “diplomat within the cabinet among ministers.” The emir trusts him as a transformational manager.

The emir kept key ministers in the new cabinet, including Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari and Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, chief of 2022 World Cup security, was also named the new interior minister.

The emir also restructured the board of the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, appointing central bank Governor Sheikh Bandar Bin Mohammed Bin Saoud Al-Thani as chairman to replace Sheikh Mohammed.

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