Friday, November 15, 2013

“Qatar’s name is in the mud”

"... The entire region feels “a sense of anger” toward Qatar, said Badr Abdellaty, a spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry. “And if the Qataris care about their image, it’s important [for them] to revisit this issue and to address it seriously.”
But if the rise in anti-Qatar sentiment has prompted any soul-searching in the upper echelons of the Qatari royal family — or even amongst its citizenry — it is well-hidden here amid the high-rises of Doha.
Qatar’s government is deeply opaque.... Rumors abound on the periphery of this secretive government that Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani’s abdication as emir in June, and the removal of longtime prime minister Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani, signified a quiet acknowledgment of defeat ...
But Qatar’s mistake, analysts say, was that it was never careful enough about where it put those hands.
In its rush to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — and earlier, Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi — Qatar has funneled money and weapons to hard-core Islamist groups.
Qatar’s critics say that the tiny state’s chaotic rush to provide aid has upended unity efforts in ­post-Gaddafi Libya and that its almost indiscriminate support of radical Islamists in Syria is effectively undermining the more moderate Free Syrian Army....
“Qatar’s name is in the mud,” said David Roberts, a lecturer for King’s College in London who is conducting classes for the Qatari military.
Qatar has presided over “just a complete failure of policy” in Egypt, Roberts said. “That must lead to some kind of re-jig or rethink.”..."

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