Qatar investigates UAE plan to devalue its currency

Government spokesman says Doha was alerted to UAE’s alleged plot to weaken the Qatari Riyal in July.

The Intercept leaks also hint towards a plan to strip Qatar of the football World Cup 2022 [Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images]

Qatar has opened an investigation into claims of an alleged plot by the UAE to weaken its currency in the early stages of the Gulf diplomatic crisis, according to a government spokesman.

Qatar was alerted to the issue in July and re-examined it following recent media reports, said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the government communications office, on Sunday. 

US-based investigative news website The Intercept revealed on Thursday that a plan for the UAE to manipulate Qatar’s economy and strip the country of the 2022 football World Cup was found in the email account of Yousef-al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US.


“The Qatari government, through its various entities, including the central bank, is working on confirming and identifying these reports,” Al Thani told AFP news agency. 

He added that an unnamed financial institution stopped trading in Qatari Riyals “for a few days” and only resumed after “we reached out to them”.

“If this financial warfare is true, it is disgraceful and dangerous not only to Qatar’s economy, but the global economy.” 

The Intercept said it had received the information from the Global Leaks company.

The plan to weaken the Qatari economy was prepared by Banque Havilland, a Luxembourg-based bank.

The latest leak adds to a long list of revelations from Otaiba’s inbox and comes as tension in the Gulf enters its sixth month. 

In June, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade after accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Qatar has strongly denied the allegations.

The document obtained by The Intercept further hinted towards a plan to strip Qatar of its role to host the football World Cup 2022.

The UAE would, according to the plan, launch a PR campaign drawing attention to Qatar’s financial weakness, making the case that Doha is unable to afford the sporting event.

“They are definitely attacking the hosting of the 2022 World Cup in one way or another, ” Al Thani said.

To read the full report in The Intercept, click here.

Source: Al Jazeera