Documents found in an e-mail account belonging to Abu Dhabi’s envoy to the US have exposed a stunning detailed plot by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to wage an economic war on Qatar.
The Intercept, a US-based investigative website, said it had gotten hold of the anti-Qatar project in a folder of UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba’s e-mail account.
The plot had been devised by Luxembourg’s private Banque Havilland — owned by the family of British financier David Rowland, who has close ties with Abu Dhabi, the report said.
Under the plan, the UAE sought to target Qatar’s currency “using bonds and derivatives manipulation.”
The UAE also sought to increase Qatar’s debt by controlling its “yield curve,” referring to a standard financial-industry graph showing a country’s borrowing costs for debt that is due at different dates.
“Control the yield curve, decide the future,” reads the document.
Through such measures, the UAE would eventually cause Qatar’s economy to collapse, reduce the value of its bonds, and increase its credit cost, the Intercept said.
World Cup in cross-hairs
After Qatar was brought to its knees, the UAE would start a propaganda campaign to portray Doha as incapable of hosting World Cup 2022.
Back in June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by the emirate.
The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences. Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.
Qatar has also said it had too many financial resources at its disposal to be afraid of the financial assault.
Last month, Qatar’s former deputy prime minister said the UAE had planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries, but had failed to secure Washington’s support.
Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah told the Spanish daily ABC that the UAE had hired a “Blackwater-linked” private security contractor to train the mercenaries, referring to the notorious American company that is now called Academi.
The training, he said, had been aimed at invading Qatar to topple the Persian Gulf country’s emir and replace him with a ruler subservient to the Saudi-led bloc.