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Ailing Kuwaiti Emir To Abdicate

23 January 2006 -- Kuwait's ailing emir, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, has abdicated following an agreement within the ruling family.

News agencies say this paves the way for the prime minister and longtime de facto ruler, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, to become the country's new emir.

The 75-year-old emir is expected to sign the abdication papers tomorrow. The government, led by Prime Minister Al Sabah, had asked parliament to remove him from office.

The move will end a power struggle that developed following the death of the country's emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, on 15 January. He had ruled for a quarter of a century.

Kuwait's parliament will meet tomorrow for an unprecedented session to consider who should be the nation's new ruler.

(compiled from agencies)