Qatar Emir Requests Meetings with Jewish US Leaders

Qatar Emir Requests Meetings with Jewish US Leaders

Thursday, 14 September, 2017 - 11:30
A view of Doha, Qatar. (Reuters)
London - Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat
Qatar is reportedly seeking to arrange meetings between Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and leading members of US Jewish organizations as part of an effort to improve its standing with the US and ending its isolation, according to US Jewish sources in Tel Aviv.

Doha is under regional pressure and isolation for supporting terrorist organizations, attempts to destabilize the Middle East, and using its influential satellite channel al-Jazeera to encourage revolutions in other countries.

Qatar is trying to arrange meetings between the Emir and Crown Prince Abdallah and the heads of major Jewish US far right organizations during next week's UN General Assembly.

Qatar’s campaign is led by Nick Muzin, a public relations adviser whom Doha recently hired to improve its image in Washington and within the Jewish community. Muzin is known for his strong ties with Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

He defended the campaign, saying engagement with Qatar can only be in the best interests of the United States and the Jewish community.

“We cannot allow Qatar to be ostracized by its neighbors and pushed into Iran's sphere of influence," Muzin reiterated.

Israeli sources stated that this campaign is opposed by several US Jewish far right leaders especially the Zionist Organization of America and its leader Mort Klein who refused to meet with the Qataris.

Klein described Qatar’s request a public relations attempt to moderate its image as a country that supports and funds terrorism.

Klein added that "it's wrong to meet with them without seeing that they've made serious movement toward reform and change. They need to stop funding Hamas. They need to change the format of Al Jazeera, their TV station, which incites against Israel."

"If they did some of those things, at least started, I would be interested in meeting them," Klein said, adding they must provide first serious proof that they really are changing.

Klein stated that Qatar is too close to Iran and is useless to meet with them if they don't change.

In related news, US President Donald Trump resumed his calls to the region on Tuesday in a phone conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

The White House announced that Trump called Sheikh Mohammed to discuss efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar which reached the 100 day mark on Wednesday.

Trump underscored the importance of unity among US partners in the region and the need for all countries to do more to cut off funding for terrorist groups, discredit extremist ideology, and defeat terrorism.