Turkish-Qatari alliance threatens Washington: US defense think tank

Documenting years of cooperation, the report highlights the increase in Turkish-Qatari relations that has been growing since 2002. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 13 December 2019

Turkish-Qatari alliance threatens Washington: US defense think tank

  • Turkish-Qatari partnership in the Mideast will strengthen militant extremism and threaten American interests in the region, new think tank report finds

WASHINGING: The rise and consolidation of the Turkish-Qatari alliance poses “a growing threat” to the interests of the United States and the Middle East, a US think tank said in a report on Thursday.

The governments of Qatar and Turkey work together to “shelter terror financiers, promote hateful ideology, and prop up violent extremist groups” throughout the Middle East and lead to regional instability in the process, a report by the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) said.

Documenting years of cooperation, the report highlights the increase in Turkish-Qatari relations that has been growing since 2002.

FDD claims that the report “assesses their shared Islamist outlooks and joint support for regional extremist groups, as well as military-to-military cooperation, economic aid, and trade and investment deals.”

In the reported titled “Brothers in Arms: The Consolidation of the Turkey-Qatar Axis,” Senior Fellow Aykan Erdemir and Senior Research Analyst Varsha Koduvayur, say that “Washington has failed to hold these two countries to account over the years.”

“Turkish and Qatari leaders have become leading patrons of various Islamist movements around the world, fueling hate and prejudice against the West, and undermining efforts to strengthen secularism and minority rights in the Middle East,” Erdemir, a former member of the Turkish parliament, said.

“It is time for the US and its transatlantic allies to push back against this alliance and its sectarian ideology,” he added.

Co-author Koduvayur stressed that Turkey and Qatar have formed an “enduring foul-weather friendship.”

“Despite hosting important overseas US military bases, Ankara and Doha work together in a manner that only hurts Washington and its regional interests,” Koduvayur said.

“For too long, we have not sufficiently held these countries accountable for the major role they play in funding Hamas, in propagating extremist ideologies, and in backing a whole gamut of violent groups in Syria, Libya, and Iraq. This malign conduct will only increase the further entrenched this partnership becomes.”

FDD founder and president Clifford May says the Turkish-Qatari alliance “has become not just increasingly complicated, but also increasingly threatening to core American values and interests.”

The report recommends that Washington should use “inducements and disincentives” to pressure Turkey and Qatar. 


Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

Updated 04 July 2020

Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

  • Allegations have been widely circulating on social media detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man
  • Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities on Saturday arrested a man who allegedly sexually abused dozens of girls and women, in a case that has sparked outrage online, a security source said.
Allegations have been widely circulating on social media since Wednesday detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man.
One allegation claimed that he attempted to abuse a 14-year-old girl.
“The person accused of harassing the girls has been arrested and will be facing the prosecution following the allegations carried on social media,” the security source said.
“Those affected should submit formal reports of the harm they endured,” the source added.
The source did not identify the suspect.
According to the social media reports, the first of which was published on an Instagram account, the abuse had been going on since at least 2018.
Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action.
Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) lodged an official complaint with the public prosecutor to investigate the allegations on Saturday.
“The NCW has followed the social media account on Instagram, which was launched by girls and women complaining that a man raped some of them and sexually assaulted and harassed others,” it said on Facebook.
It also said that several victims, who reached out to the council, recounted that the man “blackmailed and threatened to defame them using photos and clips documenting his heinous crimes.”
The council urged the women to submit official complaints to the prosecutor.
Some online reports suggested the perpetrator was a university student.
The American University in Cairo acknowledged the suspect had studied there but said he left the university in 2018.
He “is not a current student at the American University in Cairo,” a statement said.
Sexual harassment is highly prevalent in Egypt.
United Nations surveys have found that most Egyptian women have been subject to harassment, ranging from catcalling to pinching and groping.
Egyptian authorities have criminalized sexual harassment since 2014, but many women complain that the problem remains rampant.