Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi will succeed his father, who died on Wednesday, as Ruler of the tiny emirate of Ras al-Khaimah despite a challenge for power from his half-brothe.

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According to AFP quoting the official WAM news agency of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi, 92, died on Wednesday in Ras al-Khaimah.


In official recognition of Sheikh Saud’s succession to the post of emir, the UAE’s Federal Supreme Council “expressed its full support for Sheikh Saud as Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah,” in a statement carried by the news agency.


Sheikh Saqr, who had been suffering from failing health, had ruled the emirate since 1948.


Sheikh Saud’s elder brother, Sheikh Khaled, had proclaimed himself emir in a video message posted on his website soon after his father’s death.


The two brothers have been caught in a power tussle since 2003 when their father demoted Sheikh Khaled and appointed Sheikh Saud as crown prince.


No reasons for the change were ever made public.


“On (my father’s) passing away, I should assume his duties and obligations as the Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah in accordance with the law and constitution of the United Arab Emirates,” Sheikh Khaled said in the video.


Sheikh Khaled did not attend his father’s funeral, a source close to the sheikh’s entourage said.


Three cousins asked him to attend alone, but he said he wanted to go with security and other supporters, according to the source.


Hundreds of people, among them Dubai Ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum, gathered at the Sheikh Zayed mosque for Sheikh Saqr’s funeral.

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