Qatar. According to
Countryaah, the ruling emir, Sheikh Hamad, reached an
agreement with her father, in 1995 Sheikh Khalifa deposed.
In 1996, Sheikh Khalifa had been intrigued to regain power
in Qatar and, in conjunction with that, managed to gain
control of a significant portion of Qatar's financial
reserves. The agreement followed a settlement between Sheikh
Khalifa and Qatar's Justice Department about the money
Khalifa allegedly transferred to a private account. The
agreement between father and son meant, among other things,
that the deposed father would be allowed to return to Qatar.
Relations with neighboring Bahrain were improved in March
through a meeting between the foreign ministers of both
countries. It was agreed to open embassies in each other's
countries. The contradictions between countries apply to the
boundary between them and worsened at the end of 1996, when
Bahrain boycotted a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) in protest against Qatar.
At the end of November, a trial was opened in the capital
Doha against about 110 people who were accused of
participating in a coup attempt against the emir in February
However, the President of the Court upgraded the trial to
February 1998, to allow more time for the defendants to
study the allegations made against their clients. Qatar
hosted the fourth Economic Conference on the Middle East and
North Africa, held in Doha between November 16 and 18. The
conferences, which started in Casablanca in Morocco in 1994,
aim to stimulate trade and other business in the region and
are a result of the peace process between Israel and the
Palestinians that started in Madrid in 1991.
However, most of the Arab countries boycotted this year's
conference in protest against what they saw as Israel's
unwillingness to fulfill their commitments under the peace