Top News: Qatar Preparing for Leadership Transition

Top News: Qatar Preparing for Leadership Transition

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 on Monday.


Egypt’s NSF: No negotiations with Morsi; will join the street June 30
Egypt’s National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition coalition announced Saturday their full support for the Rebel campaign, saying there is no longer room for negotiation with President Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, Daily News Egypt]

Food price inflation reaches 9.6 percent; Morsi adviser blames IMF for delaying Egypt $4.8bn loan agreement
The food price inflation rate in Egypt rose to 9.6 percent in May as compared to the year before, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported on Monday. Meanwhile, a leading adviser to Egypt’s president said Cairo had met all the requirements for a $4.8 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund and suggested the multilateral body was holding up the deal. [Daily News Egypt, Financial Times]

Mubarak retrial on murder charges adjourned to July 6; court orders sons’ release
A Cairo criminal court has ordered the release of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the sons of former president Hosni Mubarak.The two men are being retried on charges related to corruption and illicit gains. The corruption trial of Mubarak-era interior minister Habib El-Adly was also adjourned until August 14. [Ahram Online, Ahram Online]

Egypt’s PM says Ethiopian Nile dam “act of defiance,” vows Egypt will not cede a drop of water
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil says the Nile River dam which Ethiopia is building is an “act of defiance” and stressed that Egypt will not give up “a single drop of water.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s foreign minister said on Sunday he would go to Addis Ababa to discuss the dam with Ethiopian officials. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online]


Protest at rebel base turns deadly
At least thirty-one people died and dozens more were wounded during clashes that erupted after demonstrators stormed a base belonging to the Libya Shield brigade, a group of militias with links to rebel groups that fought in the country’s 2011 civil war, demanding that militias submit to the full authority of Libya’s security forces. [Al Jazeera]

Army chief of staff ‘resigns’ after deadly clashes
Libyan army chief of staff Youssef al-Mangoush has reportedly resigned after thirty people died in clashes between protesters and a militia in Benghazi. The General National Congress accepted his resignation in a session on Sunday, assembly sources say. [BBC]

Prime Minister calls Benghazi killings “a tragedy for all Libya”; calls for restraint
Prime Minister Ali Zidan described yesterday’s killings in Benghazi as a tragedy for the entire country. The General National Congress (GNC) suspended its regular Sunday session, and acting Head of the GNC Juma Ateega announced three days of national mourning in memory of those who were killed. [Libya Herald, Libya Herald]

Eight injured in clashes on Libya-Egypt border
At least eight Egyptians were injured, including three police officers, when Libyan border guards opened fire with pellet bullets at a checkpoint on Sunday night. The firing started after Libyan border guards prevented an Egyptian truck from Saloum from entering the country. [Ahram Online]


Syria forces ready Aleppo assault
Syria’s army is preparing to launch an assault on Aleppo aimed at driving out rebels from the northern city and surrounding province, according to media reports and security sources Sunday. The preparations came five days after the army and its ally Hezbollah retook Qusair in center-west Syria, a year after the strategic region had fallen into rebel hands. [NOW, Daily Star]

Syrian Electronic Army wage counter-revolutionary cyberwar
The “Syrian Electronic Army,” supporters of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, have duped numerous Western media outlets into handing over the electronic keys to their Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts in recent months, leaving many organizations scrambling to regain control of their social media streams. The group’s aim is to spread counter-revolutionary propaganda and target news outlets it says slant their reporting of the conflict.  [Daily Star]

Opposition rejects talks again
Syria’s opposition reiterated on Saturday its refusal to join in peace talks. Interim head of the National Coalition George Sabra issued the rejection, stating at a press conference in Istanbul that “what is happening in Syria today completely closes the doors on any discussions about international conferences and political initiatives". [NOW, Al Arabiya]

Hezbollah applies new training practices in Syria
The seventeen-day assault on Qusair marked the first time that Hezbollah has launched a major offensive operation in an urban environment, putting into practice new training techniques taught since 2006. The fighting in Qusair provides potential insights into how Hezbollah could plan to exploit its relatively new urban warfare skills in a future confrontation with Israel. [Daily Star]


Ennahda party discusses bill to exclude pre-revolution figures from government
The National Constituent Assembly is preparing to vote on a controversial bill that would prevent those who were members of pre-revolutionary governments in Tunisia from holding office, a measure that some in the national assembly consider to be unfairly exclusionary. [Tunisia Live]

IMF approves $1.74 billion loan to balance budget, promote growth
The International Monetary Fund has approved a $1.74 billion loan for Tunisia, giving the country access to foreign currency urgently needed to help balance its budget this year while its parliament remains deadlocked on financial legislation needed to raise money on international markets. [Wall Street Journal Middle East Real Time, AFP, IMF]

Tunisian military pursues perpetrators on border with Algeria
The Tunisian military continued operations near Mount Chaambi, located near the Tunisian-Algerian border, after a landmine explosion last week killed two security officials.  Algeria is establishing twenty military checkpoints to stymie arms smuggling by al-Qaeda. [Tunisia Live, Global Times]


Several killed at Yemeni security office
At least seven people have been killed and thirty wounded in a gunfight next to the National Security Agency building in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. The protesters–members of the Shia Houthi group—were demanding the release of political detainees, an official told AP news agency, adding that they fired at guards while trying to storm the intelligence headquarters. [Al-Jazeera, 06/09/2013]

Yemen court orders Saleh quizzed on deadly demonstration attack
A Yemeni court on Saturday ordered a new probe into the alleged involvement of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as well as twelve other officials, in the killing of forty-five protesters during the March 18, 2011, incident during which the former leader’s loyalists and troops opened fire on an anti-regime rally in the capital. [Al Arabiya, Al Masdar (Arabic),  06/08/2013]

Yemen air strike kills six ‘Qaeda militants’
An air strike believed to have been carried out by a US drone killed six presumed members of al-Qaeda in north Yemen on Sunday, a tribal source said. The air raid targeted a vehicle in the Khab al-Shath area near al-Jawf, the source said, adding that the six dead included suspected al-Qaeda member Hassan al-Saleh Huraydan and his brother. [AFP, Mareb Press (Arabic), 06/09/2013]

Hadi sees progress as Yemen begins second round of national dialogue
Yemen began the second round of its national dialogue in Sanaa on Saturday, as President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi hailed progress made during talks in March. The UN-backed dialogue aims to draft a new constitution and prepare for elections in 2014, after a two-year transition which Hadi led. [Middle East Online]


Qatar preparing for leadership transition

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 on Monday. [Reuters, Telegraph]

Image: Connect%20Arab%20Summit%20-%20Emir,%20Sheikha%20Mozah,%20and%20Prime%20Minister%20of%20Qatar.jpg