Qatar leadership change would herald little shift in policy

June 13, 2013 17:58

DOHA - A planned leadership change that could see Qatar's US-allied Emir eventually ceding power to his son is unlikely to change the Gulf state's taste for bold investments overseas and assertive support for Arab Spring revolts.

Analysts say Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim will probably pursue the policies of his father, under whose rule the US-allied gas exporter has become a force in global sports, media and business and an enthusiastic political ally of the Muslim Brotherhood.The current prime minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani, 53, also expected to step down under the reported transition plan, will likely remain head of the Qatar Investment Authority, providing continuity in a vital arm of state power.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim has negotiated some of the fund's most prominent deals, including talks with Glencore's chief last year when Qatar demanded better terms for backing the firm's purchase of Xstrata. The companies eventually merged to create Glencore Xstrata.

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