Preparations for Qatari independence

FO 1016/901 1971 Jan 01-1971 Dec 31

This file concerns Qatar’s accession to sovereign statehood on 3 September 1971. It contains correspondence relating to:

  • Preparation and signing of a Treaty of Friendship to replace the special treaties on 3 September 1971; and arrangements for this to take place in Switzerland, where the Ruler of Qatar Sheikh Ahmad Bin Ali Al Thani is receiving medical treatment
  • Legislative arrangements for the new state following the retrocession of British jurisdiction
  • Appointment of the last Political Agent in Qatar E F Henderson as the first British Ambassador to the new state and lists of British diplomatic staff
  • Arrangements concerning four Pakistani prisoners held in Qatar who had been sentenced by British courts
  • Possibility of future discussions on military overlying and staging rights
  • Preparations for Qatar’s application for UN membership
  • Civil aviation agreements
  • Speech read on Qatari television and radio by the Deputy Ruler Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani, recounting the failure of the nine-state Union of Arab Emirates to materialise, declaring Qatar’s termination of special treaty relations with Britain and voicing support for the Arab League and Palestine and willingness to join the Union of Arab Emirates if it is established on sound foundations
  • Statements on the termination of the special treaties by the Foreign Office and the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf G G Arthur
  • Change of the Ruler’s title to Amir
  • Messages to Amir Ahmad Bin Ali Al Thani from the Queen, the British Prime Minister Edward Heath and the Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home, and the Amir’s replies
  • Messages and delegations from foreign governments recognising the new state and establishing diplomatic relations
  • Coverage of the birth of the new state in the Arab press
  • Records of discussions at the UN Security Council around admitting Qatar to the organisation, something denounced as an imperialist ploy by South Yemen [People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen], who also expressed support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf (PFLOAG)
  • Dr Hasan Kamel’s presentation of credentials as the first Qatari Permanent Representative to the UN