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ESET

Independent 1st Part: Did Trump denounce Qatar as a ‘sponsor of terrorism’ due to failed business deals?

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What on earth made President Donald Trump identify Qatar – with its longstanding relationship with the US and host to 10,000 American military personnel on the biggest airbase in the Middle East – as a “funder of terrorism”?

Did someone misinform him of Qatar’s role in the region? Or was Mr Trump embittered because, as Qatari businessmen are asking themselves, a real estate deal between the future US president and Qatar’s rulers fell through in 2010?

Clayton Swisher, the investigative journalist who broke the Palestine Papers story in 2011 – detailing secret talks between the Israelis, the Palestine Authority and the Bush-era US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice – says that Mr Trump and his daughter Ivanka came to Qatar seven years ago.

There, he says, they approached two senior Qatari officials for investment help. One was Hussein Al-Abdullah, executive board member of the Qatar Investment Authority. The other was Sheikh Hamid bin Jassem al-Thani, a member of the royal family who was then prime minister.

 

Writing in the Huffington Post, Swisher says that the talks failed. Mr Al-Abdullah was allegedly shocked at the way Mr Trump presented his pitch for a distressed real estate fund, although Sheikh Hamid apparently heard him out – but no Qatari money was forthcoming.

The QIA is the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund with assets of $338bn (£265bn).

Swisher adds, however, that Ivanka Trump later returned to Qatar with her husband Jared Kushner seeking a different real estate deal over Mr Kushner’s 666 Fifth Avenue property and that talks went on up to 2016.

Swisher also believes – and says he has just found this out – that Mr Kushner’s father Charles was in discussions with Sheikh Hamid, now an independent businessman and no longer prime minister, over funding, and sought $500m but that Qatar said Charles Kushner would have to find $1.2bn from

elsewhere.

These talks, according to Swisher, were going on until a few months ago.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-qatar-sponsor-terrorism-business-deals-fail-us-president-gulf-emirate-saudi-arabia-uae-a7788151.html

 

Edited by ESET

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