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Hammoud is a Shiite Muslim. He was born in Kfarkila, Marjayoun district, southern Lebanon. He was the Lebanese ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 1978 to 1983, the ambassador to West Germany from 1983 to 1985, the ambassador to the Soviet Union and Finland from 1986 to 1990, and the ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1999. During this time he became part of the faction which supported Syrian influence in Lebanon.
In October 2000 Hammoud became foreign minister for the first time. He served in that position until April 2003 when he became defense minister in a cabinet reshuffle. He was defense minister until October 2004 when the government of Omar Karami took office and he was reappointed foreign minister.
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