World watch – Tuesday

Monday GMT


Post, news or views on anything happening of interest around the world.


  1. Unintended consequences?

  2. Gezza

     /  June 13, 2017

    Reposted from yesterday’s WW

    Aljaz tv just showed the Qatari Foreign Minister, visiting London – Paris next, mounting a strong diplomatic campaign against the false allegations of Qatari support for terrorists made by the four large Middle Eastern repressive regimes who Trump has backed, & which now obviously are making to a power play for complete control in the region.

    The Qatari Foreign Minister says they can provide evidence to show the allegations & supposedly compromising documents used against them are totally fabricated.

    Since the measures were announced on June 5, several analysts viewed them as an attempt to pressure Qatar into changing its foreign policy.

    However, while the sanctions & transport blockades have caused shortages, Qatar has quickly moved to open up other trade corridors & find other trade sources.

    Saudi Arabian milk is no longer available in Qatar, for example, but Turkish milk has quickly replaced it. The Saudis built plants specifically to supply the Qatar milk market – if Qatar doesn’t return to buying Saudi milk they will need to look at selling it elsewhere, potentially having to lower prices, or lay off workers & perhaps close plants.

    Saudi Arabian fruit has been instantly replaced with plentiful supplies of Iranian fruit – creating the exact opposite of what the blockade was supposed to achieve – eliminating contacts with Iran.

    Qatari Finance Minister Emadi: “They would like to dictate our foreign policy. Everybody knows that Qatar will not allow somebody to dictate its foreign policy or manipulate how their foreign policy should be run.”

    His comments echoed those of Mutlaq al-Qahtani, a senior counterterrorism adviser to Qatar’s foreign minister, in an interview with Al Jazeera on Sunday, that Qatar’s role has long been dialogue – to “facilitate talks, to mediate and to bring peace” Qahtani said the diplomatic squeeze was an attempt at a “policy of domination and control” but Qatari diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute would continue.

    “We have more friends, more than other people might think,” he said after Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed visited Germany and Russia over the weekend. “So we are engaged and want to engage with more countries.”

    As an interesting side note – An Aljaz tv commentator just said that the principal source of these false allegations against Qatar is the UAE, an oil energy competitor – and that actually, the amount of trade the UAE does with Iran is 900% higher than the trade there had been between Qatar & Iran.

    Other GCC countries such as Kuwait are becoming very critical of the blockade.

    Interesting, eh?

    • Yes, interesting.

      But it should be noted that Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and partly funded by the ruling family of Qatar.

      • Gezza

         /  June 13, 2017

        Uh huh. Yup. What I find interesting about Al Jazeera English is the number of people who work for it as local reporters & presenters who are Westerners – Americans, English, Scots, Aussies, Kiwis – been a lot of kiwis over the years, think Anita McNaught was there at the startup.

        They certainly don’t ever criticise or usually even say much about Qatar – & I actually do need to read up more about the place & its donestic & foreign policies, but it’s seemed like a very Western-friendly place that has always maintained its own fiercely independent foreign policies. Which has put it at odds with other more “aggressive”, dominant neighbours in the past as well – for refusing to just “toe the party line”.

        It’s also been under attack by the US for some time. Apparently they even did consider attacking its offices somewhere during that ill-fated, regional destabilising, Illegitimate, regional wrecking ball invasion of Iraq.

        Reporting might be a bit hyperbolic & parochial in this matter of course, but later broadcasts this morning were that they regard the blockades against them – including that of Bahraini, Saudi Arabian & UAE airspace as tantamount to illegal punishment.

        And that they want the interstional community, & the big players in Europe & elsewhere to pressure the “heavies” trying to force them to strangle Iran, for example, to frackin well sit down & talk about what their exact complaints are – what’s true, why Qatar does it, & whether there is any valid reason for them to change it, and what’s just bullshit or lies, & why are they trying to interfere & determine an independent country’s foreign policies, exactly?

        They say they have cooperated fully with gulf region measures to combat terrorism. So what the hell is this all about? Dialogue must be part of any solution to problems with Iran – the sanctions against Iran, & now, them, without any attempt at discussion are, among other things, they say, downright un-Islamic!

        There’s going to be an interview later today with the Qatari CEO of Qatar Airlines. I might watch. It’s had 96 % of the domestic air travel market in the area, and just reported a profit of $560 million or so. He apparently said once that Donald Trump was a great friend, and from a very brief excerpt shown he is utterly livid with the things he is saying & the encouragement he has given for these horrible countries to try to control Qatar.

        • Gezza

           /  June 13, 2017

          Soz – 69% of the domestic air market, not 96%.