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Qatar's Emir hands power to 33-year-old son

Qatar's Emir hands power to 33-year-old son
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Thousands of Qataris have been pledging allegiance to their new head of state, Emir Sheikh Tamim.

It follows the abdication of his father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, ending his 18-year rule.

Announcing the rare move in a seven-minute speech broadcast on state television, Sheikh Hamad said: “The time has come to turn a new page in the journey of our nation and have a new generation carry out responsibilities.”

But he made no mention of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, the veteran prime minister and foreign minister who is the public face of Qatar’s assertive foreign policy and who had been expected to step down as well.

Sheikh Hamad has elevated Qatar’s global profile through the development of the Al Jazeera television network as well as its successful bid to host the 2022 football World Cup.