Sheikh Ahmad Ben Ali Al Thani, ruler of the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar, last weekend (8 & 9 May) had separate meetings with Mr.
Sheikh Ahmad Ben Ali Al Thani, ruler of the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar, last weekend (8 & 9 May) had separate meetings with Mr. Robert Mason, Belgian Charge d'Affaires in Kuwait, and two British officials, Mr. Geoffrey Arthur, the British Political Resident in Bahrain, and Sir William Luce, Britain's Foreign Office representative in the Arabian Gulf.
Britain plans to remove its military presence in the Gulf by the end of this year, following the recommendations of Sir William Luce. As the Foreign Secretary's personal representative in the area, his studies have guided much of the British Government's appraisal of their policies in the Middle East, and he has for several months been engaged in intensive discussions with Gulf rulers.
SYNOPSIS: The ruler of the Arabian Gulf state Qatar, Sheikh Ahmad Ben Ali Al Thani, had a meeting last weekend with the Belgian Charge d'Affaires from neighbouring Kuwait, Mr. Robert Mason. Collecting fifty million pounds annually in oil revenues, Qatar is busy changing its former image of being one of the most withdrawn of the Gulf states. Political observers say that it is coming out its shell, and their theory has been backed by such moves from Sheikh Ahmad as joining OPEC, the organisation of petroleum exporting countries, and attending meetings of the Arab League as an observer.
On Sunday, Sheikh Ahmad and his Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa Ben Hamad Al Thani, met British officials Sir William Luce and Mr. Geoffrey Arthur. As Britain's Foreign Office representative in the Arabian Gulf, Sir William's studies have been largely responsible for the British Government's appraisal of their Middle East policies, and the decision to remove the British military presence from the area by the end of the year. Mr. Arthur is Britain's Political Resident in Bahrain.