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No change in Qatar's policies: Former US ambassador

Maneesh Bakshi


THERE doesn't seem to be an overall change in the direction of Qatar's international as well as domestic policy, said Adam Ereli, a former US Ambassador to Bahrain.

In an interview with Qatar Tribune in Doha on Monday, Ereli, who is currently the vice-chairman of the Washington-based strategic affairs company Mercury, said that Qatar has been consistently following well laid foreign and domestic policies.

"On the domestic front, Qatar aims to develop the country by utilising its resource-based wealth. It also aims to provide opportunities to all its citizens and to treat those who are in the country in fair and decent way as any host would towards its guests," he said.

However, on the international front, Ereli stressed that this region has shown a marked volatility in the recent past. According to him, Qatar has pursued an active foreign policy and has been successful in securing a prominent role for itself in international affairs. He further said that Qatar has been a bridge between cultures and civilisations.

The world in the past few years has changed a lot, he said, adding that this has led to some difference of opinions in the region."From the US perspective, I believe there are some forces which are trying to portray Qatar in a bad light," Ereli added.

In his opinion, Qatar has been successful in maintaining good relations with different factions such as those in Syria and elsewhere. Qatar has been pursuing policies of maintaining good relations with every group or sections which have some political voice, he added.

"It's not that Qatar supports one side or the other. But, it rather views that everyone should be dealt with respect and every faction represents a constituency. It is important that we get these constituencies to work together effectively. Qatar consistently tries to have relations with everybody," Ereli opined.

He also expressed his concerns about the short-term repercussions of Qatar's policy.

"I am not sure how practical it is but certainly it is a responsible approach to which unfortunately not everybody agrees to," he added.

Qatar has to follow a proactive approach in defending its reputation and it must be persuasive in explaining to the people the thinking behind its policy and make a case for itself to generate its response to the critics, Ereli concluded.


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