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Qatar persuaded Hamas to participate in 2006 elections, ex- PM says

Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani, Qatar's former prime minister, in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2009. [Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani, Qatar's former prime minister, in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 30, 2009. [Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jasim has said that his country persuaded the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas to take part in parliamentary elections in 2006.

Speaking to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas Bin Jasim said that there was an American, Qatari and Palestinian agreement that Hamas should take part in the elections. He said there some Arab countries supported the move.

They hoped this would merge Hamas in the political process as part of the new parliament and in order not to remain an isolated party.

Bin Jasim added: "Qatar intervened several times to persuade Hamas to take part in the election after it decided to boycott it."

He said that Hamas' victory shocked everyone.

"We were shocked after Hamas' victory," he said. "Hamas was not ready to form a government as it did not expect to win."

Bin Jasim said, adding that Hamas should not have formed a government.

"It should have accepted to maintain a parliamentary majority due to the lack of expertise and readiness," he said.

Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory in the last elections held Palestine in 2006. However existing officials refused to stand aside for the new government leading to division among Palestinians.

READ: Is the Muslim Brotherhood capable of running a state?

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