Thursday, May 16, 2013

Senior US Official: "Qatar's Emir just lied to our face!"

MEPGS Excerpts;  
"... Even beyond Syria’s immediate neighbors, there is confusion, or at least splits among the various Arab leaders.  The tiny but quite wealthy and active Qatar, which, as the expression goes, has been “punching above its weight,” is a case in point.  Its leadership (which consists of three men, the Emir, his son and the Foreign Minister) has consistently backed Islamist forces with money and war material in their rebellion against the established order, whether in Libya or now, Syria.  Some say, this has chagrined the Saudis [A practice, their hard drinking, yet fellow Wahabbis are prone to do]. Others argue the usually reticent [and now somewhat geriatric]Saudi leadership has found it convenient to allow Qatar to take the lead.  Still, few in Washington are pleased with Qatar’s policies across the board.  Recent meetings with the Emir did not go well.  The US wanted a pledge that Qatar would no longer support “extremist” Islamists fighting in Syria.  “He said they wouldn’t,” noted a well-placed US official, who then added “He just lied to our faces.”  Even Qatar policies towards friends are causing angst in Washington.  For example, its  “no-strings attached” assistance to Egypt, undermines the Administration’s goal of getting Cairo to adopt an International Monetary Fund [“IMF”] plan for getting its fiscal house in order [US officials say, that while Qatar has provided Cairo with grants totaling more than $6 billion, the terms of their most recent example of largesse were not so generous.  What Cairo thought was a interest free $3 billion loan turned out to have an interest rate of 5% , with the principal due within 18 months]..."

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