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Monday, June 24, 2013

Report: Qatar talks hint at leadership transition

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar's ruler plans high-level meetings Monday that could formally begin the process to hand power to the Gulf nation's 33-year-old crown prince, a report said, in a possible rare transition of authority in a region where most leaders remain until death.

Qatar's reach is further extended by its global investment strategies — ranging from sports clubs such as football's Paris Saint-Germain to aid for debt-burdened Greece and Italy — and its role as mediator in conflicts such as Sudan's Darfur region and regional disputes including Palestinian political rifts.

While no immediate policy changes would be expected under the British-educated crown prince, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, a possible transition could include the departure of Qatar's highly influential Sheik Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, who serves as prime minister and foreign minister.