DOHA : Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, named Qatar’s new prime minister on Wednesday, has long served in the interior ministry and is seen as close to the new emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

A minister of state for internal affairs since February 15, 1995, until he was promoted to interior minister as well as prime minister on Wednesday, Sheikh Abdullah had worked on organising and developing different departments within the ministry.

Discreet but known for his passion for work, the new premier was a de facto interior minister, although the post was officially held since 2001 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khaled al-Thani, another member of the ruling family.

According to political sources in Doha, the former interior minister was “known for sympathising with Salafi Islamists” and his post was “honorary.”

The new prime minister graduated from a British military academy in 1984.

A year later, Sheikh Abdullah joined the interior ministry where he was appointed director of special security forces in 2002, and commander of the interior ministry’s special forces in 2004.

In 2005, he became the minister of state for internal affairs, according to an official biography.

The biography, posted on the interior ministry’s website, does not specify his date of birth.

Sheikh Abdullah, a father of six, had taken several courses in security in Britain, the United States and France.