Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Qatar's new envoy to Libya, bad timing?

I couldn't find information on Qatar's new envoy to Libya Sheikh Mohamed bin Nasser bin Jassim al-Thani (appointed January 2nd 2012) so a researcher friend sent me some information:

"He's the son of the former governor of Naseriyah, and grandson of former Ruler, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed."

A Bahraini tweep later commented that the new envoy to Libya is a former Colonel in the Qatari Army (Twitter account protected)

Background: Qatar's former ruler Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani of the Bani Tamim tribe of central Arabia was born in 1826 in town of Al Hidd, on the island of Muharraq in modern day Bahrain. He ruled Qatar from the 18th of December 1878 upon the death of his father until his own demise on the 17th of July 1913. (His Wikipedia page can be found here)

In 2007 Qatar's current Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa shifted the official national public holiday from September 3rd (the date of the British withdrawal in 1971) to the 18th of December in honour of the founder of modern Qatar as Sheikh Jassim is referred to (also weather conditions help). Sheikh Jassim   is revered for leading a battle against Ottoman forces stationed 15 km east of Doha who were attempting to exert control over the peninsula and defeated them on 25 March 1893.
In September 2011 Qatar appointed another member of the ruling family as director of Al Jazeera, a station that championed the revolutionaries cause from the outset. This video shows a group of Qatari fighters opening the doors to the Qatari Embassy in Tripoli in early October 2011 upon the fall of the regime of  Libya's former dictator. The Qatari fighter announces that he has arrived with the Zintan brigades.

Qatar's new envoy to Libya will have his work cut out for him. He's being posted as relations have deteriorated between Libya and Qatar. Several articles in the past few weeks have documented a shift in perception of the Gulf state amongst Libyans. Rather than delving into details I will post some headlines of articles (in chronological order) that dealt with Qatar's role in Libya over the past year.

The Marriage

Qatar slams Libya’s violent crackdown on protesters (Feb 22 2011 - AFP)

Qatar's ambassador leaves Libya amid crisis (Feb 24 2011 - Reuters)

Qatar first Arab country to join military mission in Libya (March 21 2011 - DPA)

Qatari PM defends military participation in Libya (March 23 2011 - Xinhua)

For Qatar, Libyan Intervention May Be a Turning Point (April 3 2011 - NYTimes)

Qatar's Libya Role: 'A Logical Next Step' (April 24 2011 - NPR)

The Honeymoon

Qatari special forces led Libyan attack on compound (24 Aug 2011 - The Week)

Tiny Qatar Flexed Big Muscles in Libya (Aug 25 2011 - Wired)

Gamble on Libya pays off for Qatar (Aug 28 2011 - FT)

Why Was Doha Such a Strong Supporter of the Rebels? (Sept 28 2011 - Foreign Affairs)

Qatar admits sending hundreds of troops to support Libya rebels (Oct 26 2011 - The Guardian)

The Divorce

Qatar accused of interfering in Libyan affairs (4 Oct 2011 - The Guardian)

Tiny Kingdom's Huge Role in Libya Draws Concern (Oct 17 2011 - WSJ)

Libya U.N. envoy says Qatar arming Islamists (Nov 18 2011 - Reuters)

Libyan diplomat unloads on Qatar (Nov 4 2011 - Foreign Policy - uses my live translation)

Why the Libyans Have Fallen Out of Love with Qatar (2 Jan 2012 - Time)


GDAEman said...

Trying again... Great research. I'm glad that you're using your time to share these insights with the rest of us.

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