Syrian oppositionists have praised the decision of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s to hand over of the reins of power to his son, the crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, after 18 years in power.
Prominent opposition figures said the move was a “step in the right direction that reflects a great awareness and could motivate other countries in the region to reconsider their attitudes.”
The defected former prime minister Riad Hijab said in a statement to Zaman al-Wasl that “loyalty requires us also to pay tribute to the brotherly contribution of Qatar, led by Prince Hamad, in supporting the glorious Syrian revolution and in relieving the sufferings of our people who are exposed to the grimmest killing, suppression and persecution machine.”
Hijab said he believed the decision in Qatar to be a “wise, instructive and unique initiative” that could serve as an “example in giving the priority to altruism rather than selfishness, to uphold the interests of the country above all other interests and considerations.”
Burhan Ghalioun, the former president of the Syrian National Council and the member of the Syrian National Coalition, meanwhile told Zaman al-Wasl that the move that the move by the Qatari prince “constitutes an eloquent lesson that should be meditated on by all Arab officials and Bashar Assad in the first. Bashar Assad came illegally into power and ruled out of law… he refuses to give up an atom of his authority which is based on the military forces, security forces, repression and intelligence forces.”
“We are all confident that his successor, prince Tamim, who is known for his support for the Arab Spring, will walk in his father’s steps in support of the Syrian revolution, and do what the state of Qatar is capable of doing for our Syrian people, to achieve their noble democratic aspirations,” he said, also congratulating the young prince for taking over the reins of the state.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer