(Photo Credit: AFP)
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani disclosed on 7 March that he issued and accepted the resignation of Doha’s Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and appointed Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani in his place.
The Qatari Emir stipulated that the implementation of the resignation must occur subsequent to the issuance. Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman, a member of the Al-Thani family, currently serves as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since his appointment in 2016. The issue for the prime minister’s resignation is titled “Order No. (1) of 2023.” He has served in the position since 2020.
The office of the Qatari Emir later announced that the prime minister would be assuming the position of Doha’s interior minister following his resignation.
Qatar has improved its relations with other regional countries in the past two years, with Muhammad in the foreign minister position, as the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt were present during the 2022 World Cup.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed all diplomatic ties with Qatar and banned Qatar-registered planes and ships from using their airspace and sea routes, while Riyadh blocked Qatar’s only land crossing after accusing Doha of supporting extremist groups.
Saudi Arabia then pushed for regional sanctions on Qatar. Saudi Arabia and the UAE claimed that Qatar “embraced various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region,” including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Iranian-backed groups in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province.
In the same week, a report disclosed that a France-based network acting in the interest of the UAE has been pushing anti-Qatar sentiment in Paris by linking Doha’s government to the Muslim Brotherhood.
This leak was disclosed in a report by French investigative outlet Mediapart on 1 March, which elaborated on the techniques used by the UAE to expand its influence in France to disseminate negative information about Qatar.
This came a few months after the UAE’s President Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MbZ) met with Qatar’s Emir, marking the first time an Emirati head of state visited Qatar since Saudi Arabia and its regional allies lifted the embargo on Doha.