Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is stepping down and handing power to his son, the country's 33-year-old crown prince.
Qatari emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, took the rare step for a Gulf Arab ruler of voluntarily ceding power to his son Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to try to ensure a smooth succession.
The former defence minister and Crown Prince of Qatar Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani makes a speech on state-run radio, that he has taken control of the oil-rich Gulf emirate by ousting his father, Sheik Khalifa Bin Hamid al-Thani, while he was out of the country, in Doha, Qatar, June 27, 1995.
President Barack Obama, right, stands with Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 23, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at Wajbah Palace in Doha, Qatar, June 23, 2013.