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Qatar readies for leadership shuffle as PM prepares to step down.

Summary: Qatar's powerful prime minister is preparing to step down as part of a wider power transition that may also see the country's ruler ceding power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh sheikh
 or shaykh

Among Arabic-speaking tribes, especially Bedouin, the male head of the family, as well as of each successively larger social unit making up the tribal structure. The sheikh is generally assisted by an informal tribal council of male elders.
 Tamim, Arab and Western diplomats said Monday.

DOHA: Qatar's powerful prime minister is preparing to step down as part of a wider power transition that may also see the country's ruler ceding power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, Arab and Western diplomats said Monday.

Such a change could inject an element of uncertainty into the foreign policies of the U.S.-allied gas exporter, which is a global investment powerhouse and a bankroller of Arab Spring revolts in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood Muslim Brotherhood, officially Jamiat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun [Arab.,=Society of Muslim Brothers], religious and political organization founded (1928) in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna. .

"[The emir] has had [this] in mind for quite a long time. The path has clearly been paved over the past year for authority to be transferred to Tamim," a Doha-based diplomat told Reuters, referring to head of state Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani became the Emir of the State of Qatar on June 26 1995 after deposing his father, who was vacationing in Switzerland at the time.

Sheikh Hamad was acclaimed Crown Prince in 1977 and at the same time was appointed Minister of Defense.
 al-Thani. "The plan has always been for this to happen, but it's been a question of timing."

The diplomats said they understood the motive for the reported reshuffle was the desire of the leadership to have a smooth transition to a younger generation. Such a move would be relatively unusual in Gulf Arab politics: It is customary for Gulf Arab heads of state to continue in office until death. One source said the transition was expected to start with Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who also serves as the foreign minister, leaving his Cabinet posts. The diplomats mentioned various timetables, from some time in the next few weeks to September.

No Qatari government officials were immediately available to comment on the reports. Arab and Western diplomats in Doha and elsewhere in the region said that countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Saudi Arabia had been briefed on the plan.

They said they expected the reshuffle to take one of two courses -- either Tamim would become the prime minister until he takes over as emir when his father eventually steps down, or the current deputy prime minister A Deputy Prime Minister or Vice Prime Minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting Prime Minister when the real Prime Minister is temporarily absent. , Ahmad al-Mahmoud, would step up.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, 53, has been prime minister since 2007 and has played a key role in positioning Qatar as power broker in the region. He is also chairman of the board of the Qatar Investment Authority, a position he is expected to retain. QIA QIA Qualified Intermediary Agreement (US IRS)
QIA Quality Investment Act
 has estimated assets of $100 billion-$200 billion.

Widely seen as a savvy dealmaker deal·mak·er  
One that makes deals, as in business, finance, or politics.

, the premier has personally negotiated some of the sovereign wealth fund's most high-profile investments, including talks with Glencore's chief last year when the fund demanded better terms for backing the firm's acquisition of Xstrata. The companies eventually merged to create Glencore Xstrata.

The emir elevated the country's international profile in recent years through the launch and development of the Al-Jazeera television network, as well as its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup tournament.

The Gulf state has played a substantial role in promoting the Arab Spring, lending significant support to rebels who ousted former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and to an uprising seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The emir seized power from his father in a bloodless blood·less  
1. Deficient in or lacking blood.

2. Pale and anemic in color: smiled with bloodless lips.

 coup in 1995. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim played a key role in facilitating the coup, for which he was rewarded with influence for life.

The British-educated crown prince is believed to be closer to the Muslim Brotherhood than many in the current leadership, and may pursue more socially conservative policies.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Jun 11, 2013
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