It's time Qatar puts its wealth to better use

Its time Qatar puts its wealth to better use

If the situation drags on, it could hurt Qatar more and eventually bring the economy to its knees

Published: Wed 9 Aug 2017, 10:42 PM

Qatar is hurting economically, yet it is throwing money at lobbyists and politicians in the West. Last week, it roped in Brazilian football star Neymaar to grab some attention for another futile cause. Politics trumped sport with the signing of the deal that was worth some $263 million. Qatar's policy to stretch itself was again exposed. Indeed, it appears like a country without a cause. Its image has taken a battering, its reputation is in the pits. Confidence in the country is at a low ebb. Real partners are deserting it, and fair weather friends are making an entry to prop it up with food and supplies. Some like Turkey have a base in the country. On Tuesday, ratings agency Moody's downgraded Doha's banking sector to negative, even as the US and Kuwait stepped up mediation efforts to turn things around in a crisis that has stretched for two months. If the situation drags on, it could hurt Qatar more and eventually bring the economy to its knees, which the leadership is trying to avoid. So why is it delaying a solution that lies next door, with the GCC. The writing is on the wall, but for some inexplicable reason the ruling elite in Qatar fail to see it and have decided to brazen it out.

The PR bandwagon from Doha rolls on in an attempt to save it from its extremist excesses over the years. But at what cost to ordinary people in the country? One of the richest countries in the world is now crying for attention it does not deserve. It should set its house in order before it preaches on the virtues of free speech and freedom. Then there is the important issue of terror funding that it must address. These very groups could turn on Doha when the funds dry up. There's trouble in its backyard and Doha should watch where it treads. "A prolonged regional dispute could trigger some outflows of foreign deposits and other external funding," Moody's said on the banking system. Not a happy situation for a tiny country that wants to seen as more than a natural gas power. Qatar must put its wealth to better use and deny terror parasites of cash. Is that too much to ask?

More news from