Middle East

Gunfire Reported in Feud between Qatar’s Former, Present Emirs

13920404000229_PhotoIQatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has imprisoned his father and former Emir after a quarrel over former Queen Sheikha Moza, security officers of the Royal palace disclosed, adding that the furious emir has fired several shots to warn his father.
A security officer told FNA on Saturday that the quarrel was over the numerous and lavish expenses of the foreign trips that Emir’s mother, former queen Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned, has been taking alongside not just his husband the former emir, but the country’s prime minister and former foreign minister, including her last trip to Tel Aviv.

Sheikha Moza has a wine factory in the vicinity of Tel Aviv.

“We heard several gunshots in the midst of a rather lengthy quarrel between HH Emir and his father on Friday and rushed to the room, where we realized that the Emir had taken out his gun and fired several warning shots in the air after he had gone out of control due to his fury,” the source said.

“Following the quarrel, HH Emir ordered us to arrest and imprison his father (the former Emir),” he added.

Quarrels in Qatar’s Royal family have divided officials in the Persian Gulf state in the last several years.

The incident has also been confirmed by independent sources, including an Egyptian security official who asked to remain unnamed and told FNA bureau in Cairo that a friend in Doha security service had informed him of the shocking event.

Earlier this year, former Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani was forced to cede power to his son after the 33-year-old crown prince staged a successful coup and imprisoned him and his prime minister, but after a week of mediations by foreign officials and several members of the Royal family, the former Emir and his cousin Prime Minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem were released to arrange a face-saving transfer of power.

A few days later in early June, the 61-year-old Emir and his government officials informed foreign countries that Doha was preparing to begin a leadership transition in which the Emir would relinquish power to his son, and his cousin would step down as prime minister as well.

Later in June the Royal court made a public announcement to inform the nation that Emir Shaikh Hamad had transferred powers to the Sandhurst-educated crown prince due to health problems.

In a seven-minute speech aired on state television, Sheikh Hamad said it was now time for the new generation to take over following his 18 years at the helm of the small, rich Persian Gulf Arab state.

“The time has come to open a new page in the journey of our nation that would have a new generation carry the responsibilities … with their innovative ideas,” said Sheikh Hamad, reading a prepared text behind his desk.

Such a transition was unusual for Persian Gulf Arab states, where leaders usually die in office.

The rather unprecedented move took immediate effect.

But, the 61-year-old emir made no public mention of the fate of veteran politician and the public face of Qatar’s aggressive foreign policy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jasem.

Shaikh Hamad had overthrown his father in a bloodless coup in 1995.

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