Cherie Blair lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of Qatar crown prince, emails reveal



Cherie Blair lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of Qatar crown prince, emails reveal

Cherie Blair, the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, has lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of the crown prince of Qatar, new private emails released by the former US secretary of state show, media reports in London said. 
Blair wrote in one email: “As you know I have good links to the Qataris.’’

In a 2010 email marked confidential, Blair sought to arrange a meeting between Clinton and Qatar’s young crown prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, The Guardian reports.
Blair has previously denied she acted as a lobbyist for the crown prince’s mother. In a letter to the Guardian in July, she described the claim as “sensationalist and inaccurate.’’

It emerged that Blair had brokered a “woman to woman” meeting between Clinton and Sheikha Mozah, the crown prince’s mother, the paper reports.

The new email – part of the latest batch from Clinton’s private server to be released to the US State Department as part of a congressional investigation into her use of private email – was sent on 7 June 2010. In it, Blair wrote: “As you know I have good links to the Qataris. Sheikha Mosah’s son is the 31/32 year old Crown Prince and she is keen that he starts to build up an international profile … Is a meeting possible? Or maybe we could set up an initial phone call? Can you let me know if this appeals to you all.”

The crown prince, Blair explained, had been appointed head of Qatar’s national food security program. “He is aware that food security is an issue you are majoring on and would love to meet you in person to discuss this and to explore potential partnership issues between US and Qatar,” she wrote.

Eight days later, Clinton responded: “I would be happy to meet w him. How should I follow up to arrange a mutually agreeable time. All the best to you.”

(Pictured, Blair with Hillary Clinton, left, at the State Department on October 7, 2010 in Washington).

On 30 June, Blair emailed again: “Hillary can you give me a telephone number the Qatari Crown Prince can ring you on and he will get in touch. Alternatively I can get his personal phone number for you. What’s best for you?”

Five days later, Clinton emailed to say that “we are setting up a call for next week” with the crown prince, and signed off: “Love your work on women and mobile phones. Hope all is well – H.”

Blair has denied that the email exchanges see her acting, in effect, as a top-level fixer to Sheikha Mozah. In one of them, she described Sheikha Mozah as “my friend from Q.’’

In another, she says Sheikha Mozah is “someone who has real influence in Qatar.’’

Qatar’s conservative ruling family owns London properties including the Shard, Harrods and the capital’s largest private house, 1,2,3 Cornwall Terrace, next to Regent’s Park. Sheikha Mozah’s husband is Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who was emir from 1995 to 2013 and is worth an estimated £1.5bn, the Guardian reports.

Blair has characterised her confidential messages to Clinton as harmless. She says she got to know Sheikha Mozah through her work with the disability charity Scope, of which she is a patron. She visited Qatar several times as its representative, and got to know the emir’s wife because of their shared interest in disability.

At the time, Tony Blair had left Downing Street and was working as Middle East envoy on behalf of the UN, EU and Russia. It would have been more usual to arrange an appointment with Clinton via regular diplomatic channels, such as the US embassy in Qatar.

There was no immediate comment from Cherie Blair’s office, the Guardian reports.
   

Cherie Blair lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of Qatar crown prince, emails reveal Cherie Blair lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of Qatar crown prince, emails reveal Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:02 PM Rating: 5

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