US Ambassador ‘beaten’ by Turkish PM’s adviser

US ambassador to Qatar Dr Joseph Lebaron

By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –

Joseph LeBaron US Ambassador to Qatar was punched and severely beaten by Fuat Tanlay, adviser on foreign affairs to Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Doha, Kingdom of Qatar.

Meeting with US Secretary of Stat Hilary Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Qatar was overshadowed by row between Turkish and US diplomats.

According to Turkish Daily Zaman published on 15th February 2010, ‘meeting lasted about an hour instead of 20 minutes as previously planned. While meeting was on US Ambassador to Qatar Joseph LeBaron reportedly said, ‘ (Hilary) Clinton is running late for a planned meeting with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, tried to enter the room where Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan were meeting.

“Clinton’s meeting with Qatar’s emir is more important than the meeting with the Turkish delegation,” LeBaron was reported as saying.

The US diplomat was countered by Fuat Tanlay, adviser on foreign affairs to Turkey’s Prime Minister: “Your are not allowed to speak about Turkey and Turkey’s prime minister that way. You will have to wait till the end of the meeting”.

According to some reports US Ambassador was punched and beaten in front of Secretary Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister.

It seems that perhaps the US Ambassador must have some history lessons about the region as these small Kingdoms in Middle East with thousands of prince and princesses were created by the British out of Ottoman Empire as a result of treachery of some people,’ said a senior analyst.

According to Daily Zaman, after this altercation, Erdogan’s bodyguard asked Joseph LeBaron to step away from the meeting room door.