Head of Islamic body to step down for Syria minister role

DUBAI, April 18 Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:53am EDT

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DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) - The head of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, will be leaving his post to take on his new role as Syria's economy and trade minister.

The Bahrain-based Islamic standardisation organisation said in a statement that Alchaar would continue as secretary-general for another three months and that the process of recruiting a replacement was underway.

Syria has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests which have swept across the Middle East and already toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

In response to the growing unrest, President Bashar al-Assad has promised new laws, named a new cabinet and said the country's hated 48-year emergency rule would be lifted, but protests have continued to worsen. [ID:nLDE73G09G]

AAOIFI, the closest the Islamic finance industry has to an independent regulator to set standards, is supported by over 200 institutional members from over 45 countries. (Reporting by Rachna Uppal; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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