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UAE plot to wage financial war on Qatar revealed

Plan found in email of UAE diplomat Otaiba involves attack on Qatar's currency using bonds and derivatives manipulation.

Yousef al-Otaiba

A United Arab Emirates plan to attack Qatar's financial system has been revealed in a folder of an email account belonging to the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba.

The Intercept, a US-based investigative website, obtained the folder and exposed the plot, which involves an attack on Qatar's currency "using bonds and derivatives manipulation".

The UAE also aims to increase Qatar's debt by controlling its "yield curve", according to the report.

According to the Intercept, Luxembourg's private Banque Havilland - owned by the family of Britain's controversial financier David Rowland - developed the plan for the UAE.

Its objective is to push Qatar's economy to collapse, reduce the value of its bonds and increase its credit cost, ultimately creating a currency crisis that drains the country's reserves.

The document further reveals that while weakening Qatar's economy, the UAE would also launch a public relations campaign to draw attention to this development as part of its campaign to have Qatar eventually stripped of its role of being the host of the football World Cup 2022.

"There is no conclusive evidence that the plan has been initiated, nor that it will ever be launched," the Intercept report says.

"And the current pressure Qatar's currency is under as a result of an ongoing blockade imposed by the UAE means those direct, overt steps may be more effective economic sabotage than anything the slides outline.

"Additionally, the publication of this story means the secrecy the plan says it requires no longer exists. Two of the experts who reviewed the plan with the Intercept said it was far-fetched and appeared to have been developed by someone with 'little or no experience' in the financial market."

According to the website, Roland has long-established ties with UAE's leadership, particularly the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Banque Havillan is currently working on a new financial institution in cooperation with the UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, according to contracts and correspondence obtained by the Intercept outlining the terms of the deal.

The project is separate from the Qatar operation, but it reflects the close relationship between the bank and the UAE, according to the Intercept report.

To read the full report in The Intercept, click this link


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