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Yearbook 2002

Qatar. According to Countryaah website, Qatar continued to play an important role in US military planning for operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. In December, the United States was granted permission to utilize air bases in Qatar and a major military exercise was carried out at the end of the year.

2002 Qatar

A Jordanian journalist was sentenced to death for espionage in October for allegedly providing Jordan with sensitive information about Qatar and the US military.

The sister of Qatar's governing emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa ath-Thani was appointed deputy chairman of the Family Affairs Council in November. Hassa bint Khalifa ath-Thani thus became the first female minister in the Persian Gulf countries.

In July, the emir decided on a minor reorganization. In June, he announced that elections would be held for a newly formed parliament within two and a half years.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain highlighted their dissatisfaction with Qatar, which is the home of the free-to-air Arabic TV channel al-Jazira. The channel's office was closed and Saudi Arabia, which never allowed al-Jazira to operate in the country, called its ambassador home in September after a televised debate over a Saudi peace plan for the Middle East.

In May, Qatar sold its stake in the debt-laden Gulf Air, which was owned by neighboring Bahrain, Oman and Abu Dhabi. Qatar has its own Qatar Airways.

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