Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani
|Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani|
Hamad in January 2012
|Prime Minister of Qatar|
3 April 2007 – 26 June 2013
|Monarch||Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Deputy||Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah|
|Preceded by||Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Succeeded by||Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
11 January 1992 – 26 June 2013
|Prime Minister||Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Preceded by||Mubarak Ali Al Khater|
|Succeeded by||Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah|
10 January 1959 |
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Spouse(s)||Aljohara bint Fahad (1982–present) Noor Al Subaie (1996–present)|
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Mohammed bin Thani Al Thani (born 11 January 1959) (Arabic: حمد بن جاسم بن جبر آل ثاني) is a former politician in Qatar. He was the Prime Minister of Qatar from 3 April 2007 to 26 June 2013, and foreign minister from 11 January 1992 to 26 June 2013.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Legal issues
- 4 Business career
- 5 BAE Systems controversy
- 6 Titles, styles and honours
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Art collector
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Hamad was born in Doha, Qatar, on 11 January 1959. He is the fifth son of Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani. Through his father, he is the grandson of Jabr bin Mohammed Al Thani. Jabr was a younger brother of Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the founding father of the modern Qatar .
Between 1982 and 1989, Hamad was the director of the office of the minister of municipal affairs and agriculture. In July 1989, he was appointed minister of municipal affairs and agriculture and in May 1990, he was appointed deputy minister of electricity and water along with his post as minister of municipal affairs and agriculture, where he supervised several successful projects and developed the agriculture sector.
On 1 September 1992, Hamad was appointed as foreign minister of Qatar by the 8th Emir. He was retained in his post when the Emir's son, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani came to power in a coup in 1995. Hamad played an important role in the overthrow of the 8th Emir. On 16 September 2003, Hamad was appointed first deputy prime minister while retaining his position of minister of foreign affairs. On 2 April 2007, he was appointed as prime minister, following the resignation of Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani; Hamad also continued to serve as foreign minister. HBJ had vast foreign policy goals for Qatar during his tenure. Qatar was said to be "punching above its weight" under HBJ’s direction, but the foreign ministry was generally regarded as lacking the necessary infrastructure to live up to his aspirations.
Hamad was reported to have had strong connections with the US government. He serves on the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution and chairs the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Doha Center. He has stakes in many strong businesses such as Qatar Airways and the Foreign Investment Company, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, The Pearl and Harrods. He is a partner in Project Grande (Guernsey), the developer of One Hyde Park in London, United Kingdom.
Additionally, Hamad held several other key positions including member of the supreme defense council, which was established in 1996; head of Qatar’s permanent committee for the support of al Quds, which was formed in 1998; member of the permanent constitution committee, formed in 1999; member of the ruling family council, which was established in 2000; and member of the supreme council for the investment of the reserves of the state, which was established in 2000.
Hamad was the first Arab politician received by Nicholas Sarkozy after the latter's election to the French presidency in May 2007. The French government made of Qatar under Hamad's guidance a strategic partner, and the list of partnerships between the two states includes Total, EADS, Technip, Air Liquide, Vinci SA, GDF Suez, and Areva. France was, under the Hamad government, the primary arms supplier to the Emirate. In February 2009, under the Sarkozy government, France accorded special beyond-OCDE investment privileges to Qatar, its ruling family and its State-Owned Enterprises; one example of the privileges is capital gains exemptions in France.
The US embassy to Doha claimed, in a cable disclosed in December 2010 by WikiLeaks, that "Sheikh Hamad (HBJ) told then US senator John Kerry that he had proposed a bargain with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, which involved stopping broadcasts in Egypt in exchange for a change in Cairo's position on Israel-Palestinian negotiations, and that 'we would stop al-Jazeera for a year' if Mubarak agreed in that span of time to deliver a lasting settlement for the Palestinians."
On 25 June 2013, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated as Emir of Qatar, and on the next day, 26 June, Hamad resigned from office. Some have questioned whether this was because the new emir pulled him from his post after realizing how much power HBJ had amassed. He was replaced by Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani as prime minister and by Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah as foreign minister. On 3 July, Hamad was also relieved from the post of deputy head of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). HBJ’s involvement in so many positions and organizations in Qatar led to questions over his capability to address Qatar’s issues with extremism and terrorist financing, a concern for many western nations who deal with Qatar.
It was under HBJ that Qatar began assisting rebels in Syria by supplying them with arms. This move brought criticism upon Qatar, as some questioned whether these arms ultimately ended up in the wrong hands.
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In 2010, he led the mediation efforts that resulted in the signing of a peace agreement between Djibouti and Eritrea to settle their border dispute and thereby paving the way for broader peace talks to end the six-year conflict in the region. According to the negotiated peace declaration, the two parties pledged to give peaceful means a “strategic priority to settle the conflict in Darfur”, and to take the required measures to create “an opportune environment to achieve a lasting settlement”, including the halting of “inconvenience to the displaced and ensuring the flow of relief aid”. The parties furthermore committed themselves to prisoners swap and the release of those who were detained due to the dispute.
In 2009, he assisted in the settlement agreement between Sudan and Chad. The civil war in Chad began in December 2005. On February 8, 2006 the Tripoli Agreement was signed, which temporarily stopped the fighting. However, hostilities resumed after two months, leading to several new agreement attempts and a final settlement between the two parties in 2009.
In 2009, Hamad participated in brokering a peace agreement to end the conflict in Darfur ("The Goodwill and Confidence Building Pact”) between the government of Sudan and Justice and Equality Movement. The pact also opened up to the rest of factions in Darfur.
He participated in mediation of ceasefire in Yemen between the Government of Yemen and the Houthi Movement in 2007. In 2010, the two parties agreed to activate the agreement after confrontations threatening the ceasefire. The mediation ended a six-year war between the two sides.
In 2007, Hamad helped organize the Lebanese national dialogue and the peace agreement between various Lebanese political groups to end the worst internal fighting in Lebanon since the civil war of 1975-1990. In an attempt to resolve a broader political showdown that had paralyzed the country for 18 months, Hamad summoned the Lebanese government and Hezbollah-led opposition to Qatar for talks. He declared an agreement sponsored by the Arab League to deal with the Lebanese crisis. In the agreement the parties pledged, “to refrain from returning to the use of weapons or violence to realize political gains." The Lebanese government furthermore committed itself to introduce a new electoral law designed to provide better representation in the country's sectarian system of power sharing.
Hamad was instrumental in creating the peace settlement between Sudan and Eritrea in 1998. The un-demarcated border with Sudan had posed a problem for Eritrean external relations for most of the nation's existence. He negotiated a peace settlement between Sudan and Eritrea. After the agreement was signed, relations somewhat normalized.
In 1996, he worked to settle a brief war between Eritrea and Yemen over the Hanish Islands. As part of the agreement to cease hostilities the two nations agreed, through the negotiating effort of Hamad, to refer the issue to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 1998. Yemen was granted full ownership of the larger islands while Eritrea was awarded the peripheral islands to the southwest of the larger islands. Since then relations between the two governments have remained relatively normal.
Hamad facilitated the agreement that led to a unity constitution in Yemen in May 1990, ratified by the populace in May 1991. It affirmed Yemen's commitment to free elections, a multiparty political system, the right to own private property, equality under the law, and respect of basic human rights. Parliamentary elections were held on 27 April 1993.
Of other humanitarian initiatives, he has facilitated the release of prisoners, including the five Lebanese prisoners in Eritrea. He supported the effort to release Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan from jail, and was instrumental in freeing the Bulgarian nurses in Libya from prison. He has opened Qatar to political refugees in the Muslim and Arab worlds. During the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s, he secured large quantities of food, medicine and other items to the Bosnian population.
In November 2010 he launched the Humanitarian Appeal 2011 in Doha, together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The initiative is set to help improve the living conditions for millions of people affected by humanitarian crises around the world.
Following courting by Michael Portillo, Qatar entered into an arms deal worth £500 million with BAE Systems. £7 million was transferred into two trusts in Jersey of which Hamad was named as a beneficiary. In an attempt to prevent money laundering, the funds were frozen from 16 July 2000 by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, who then began a court case and investigation. Hamad paid the Jersey authorities £6 million as a "voluntary reparation" as "the structures put in place by his advisers may have contributed to the cost and complexity of the inquiry." The case was then dropped by the Jersey authorities.
HBJ is facing a lawsuit brought on by Fawaz Al-Attiya, former official spokesman for Qatar, who says that agents acting on behalf of HBJ imprisoned and tortured him in Doha for 15 months from 2009-2011. Al-Attiya says that he was kept in solitary confinement, only let out of handcuffs to be interrogated, subjected to sleep deprivation, and denied proper access to food, water, and sunlight. Al-Attiya also alleged that he was not adequately compensated for his Qatari land that was expropriated by the state. Documents submitted by Al-Attiya’s lawyers state that in 1997, HBJ offered to buy 20,000 square meters of land from Al-Attiya in west Doha. Al-Attiya says that he refused the offer because he felt that the land was worth more than HBJ’s offer, a move that angered HBJ. He alleges that HBJ then seized the land and subjected Al-Attiya to “increasing harassment, threats, and surveillance”. A decade later in 2007, HBJ allegedly tried to have Al-Attiya arrested in Dubai. Al-Attiya then moved to Saudi Arabia in 2008 when a series of legal cases were filed against him, including one that alleged that he leaked state secrets during his tenure serving in public office. Court documents state that Al-Attiya was “forcibly taken from Saudi Arabia to Qatar” in October 2009. From then until January 2011, Al-Attiya was held in various prisons around Qatar. Attiya was told by Qatar’s assistant attorney during this time that “he was being detained at the behest of the prime minister (Hamad bin Jassim), that there was no intention to release him and that any attempt to secure release through securing a court order…would either be prevented or any such order would not be carried out”. Attiya was ultimately released on orders of the crown prince.
After his release, HBJ filed another case against Attiya claiming that he had forged a check worth 3 million riyals and as a result owed money to Qatar National Bank. This case was also dropped due to intervention by the crown prince.
HBJ denies all claims against him in regards to Fawaz Al-Attiya and says that he has diplomatic immunity and state immunity given his diplomatic position in London, leaving London’s High Court without jurisdiction. No decision has been made yet as to whether his diplomatic immunity will extend to this case.
In June 2014, HBJ acquired 80% of Heritage Oil, which was listed as a London exploration and production company. At the same time, he was listed as a “Counsellor” at the Qatari embassy and as such was privileged to legal immunity under the 1961 Vienna Convention. Article 42 of this convention states that “a diplomat shall not in the receiving State practise for personal profit any professional or commercial activity” thereby disallowing the acquisition in which HBJ engaged. The stake, valued at £924 million and dated April 30, 2014, transferred to a “wholly owned subsidiary” of Al-Mirqab Capital, an investment company privately owned by HBJ and his family. HBJ’s lawyers maintain that the fact that the company was listed in London is not sufficient evidence to determine that Article 42 had been violated.
A May 2008 diplomatic cable sent by then U.S. chargé d'affaires in Doha, alluded to a dispute between HBJ and the Qatari intelligence officials over a Qatari senior bank official imprisoned for 6 months over his role in funding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the al-Qaeda mastermind of September 11. The senior bank official was Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy who financed KSM while working at Qatar Central Bank.
Positions and opinions
At a 2015 speech at the Chatham House, a London-based think tank, HBJ warned the Israelis, reminding them that they are surrounded by 400 million Arabs, saying “you have the upper hand now but you are surrounded. Accept the 1967 boundaries, the two state solution. Your superiority will not last forever. Solve (the Palestinian question) and terrorism is defused.”
BAE Systems controversy
Following courting by Michael Portillo, Qatar entered into an arms deal worth £500 million with BAE Systems. £7 million was transferred into two trusts in Jersey of which Hamad was named as a beneficiary. In an attempt to prevent Money Laundering the funds were frozen from 16 July 2000 by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, who then began a court case and investigation. Hamad paid the Jersey authorities £6 million as a "voluntary reparation" as "the structures put in place by his advisers may have contributed to the cost and complexity of the inquiry." The case was then dropped by the Jersey authorities.
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
- Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (1959–1989)
- His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (1989–2007, 2013–present)
- His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar (2007 to 2013)
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- Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Lebanese American University (28 April 2010, Lebanon)
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- "Who is Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani?". Al Jazeera. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Moore, James (21 June 2013). "Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani: Meet the man who bought London". The Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- 2006 U.S.-Islamic World Forum Biographies - Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani - Brookings Institution
- "Qatar’s emir appoints new PM", Middle East Online, 3 April 2007.
- "Smooth operator: Qatar's ex-PM breaks his silence". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "What recession? Flats in Central London go on sale at £5m-plus". The Times. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- slate.fr: "Comment le Qatar a acheté la France (et s'est payé sa classe politique)", 6 Jun 2011
- lemonde.fr "La France accorde une exonération d'impôts aux avoirs du Qatar", 21 Feb 2009
- theguardian.com: "WikiLeaks cables claim al-Jazeera changed coverage to suit Qatari foreign policy", 6 Dec 2015
- The Report: Qatar 2014. Oxford Business Group, 15 Apr 2014
- Tuttle, Robert (26 June 2013). "Qatar's Emir Tamim Forms Cabinet Lead by Bin Nasser". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Aboudi, Sami (26 June 2013). "Qatar drops influential prime minister in cabinet reshuffle". Reuters. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Qatar's former PM loses role at wealth fund". Arabian Business. Reuters. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Banker who financed 9/11 mastermind now funding terrorists in Syria and Iraq". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Former Qatari PM has eyes on top UN job". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Ramesh, Randeep; Donaghy, Tori (2015-10-18). "Ex-PM of Qatar to invoke diplomatic immunity in UK torture case". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Croft, Jane (2016-01-12). "Qatar's ex-prime minister claims diplomatic immunity over lawsuit". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Former Qatari PM tries to quash Brit's 'torture' claim". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Qatari sheikh bought UK oil company while bound by diplomatic rules". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Former Qatar prime minister rejoins dealmaking stage". Financial Times. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Corruption Cases - Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani". Star. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "BAE Systems and Qatar". Anglo Arabia. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- David Leigh and Rob Evans (7 June 2007). "BAE files". Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- News: LAU honors leader of Qatar with Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters - Official website of LAU
- "Picasso's Women of Algiers smashes auction record". BBC News Online. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Sherwell, Philip (21 May 2015). "Billionaire Qatari sheikh 'identified' as secret buyer of world record Picasso". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
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Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani
|Prime Minister of Qatar
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani