Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The emir of Qatar has appointed a new prime minister after Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani abruptly resigned Tuesday, state media reported.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gave no explanation for the departure of Abdullah bin Nasser, a member of the ruling Al Thani family who'd served as Qatari prime minister since 2013.
The ruler appointed another member of the family, Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, as Qatar's new prime minister and interior minister. He ascends to the post from a position as head of the emir's court, or the Amiri Diwan, which manages the ruler's relations with the government and its ministers.
A biography on the Diwan website said the 51-year-old Khalid bin Khalifa has been head of the Diwan since 2014 and has worked for the emir since 2006. In those positions, he is considered a key confidante of the ruler.
Tuesday's transition came amid a three-year dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi coalition imposed an embargo against Qatar in 2017 for purportedly supporting Islamist extremism.
Qatar is also in a delicate political position as it is home to the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East and shares a large natural gas field with Iran.