Qatar will hold its first legislative election in two years, Qatar News Agency reported, citing a statement by the ruling emir.

From the podium of this council, I declare that we have decided that the Advisory Council elections would be held in the second half of 2013, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said in a speech to the body.

We know that all these steps are necessary to build the modern state of Qatar and the Qatari citizen who is capable of dealing with the challenges of the time and building the country. We are confident that you would be capable of shouldering the responsibility.

Under a constitution adopted in 2003, 30 of the council's members would be elected and 15 appointed. Sheikh Hamad did not say if the council, which currently has no legislative powers, will be given more responsibility, Reuters reported. The constitution took effect in 2005 and specified that one-third of the 45-member Advisory Council be elected.

Qatar, a petroleum-rich Persian Gulf emirate, has been trying to raise its international profile, playing a major supporter role of the Arab Spring uprisings that brought down the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

We know that all these steps are necessary to build the modern state of Qatar and the Qatari citizen who is capable of dealing with the challenges of the time and building the country, the emir said.

We must not only congratulate ourselves on our achievements, but we have to check whether our visions and aspirations are compatible with the expectations and hopes of our peoples.