Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mortgaging our future and our security

Riyadh rejects idea of Gulf bailing out West
The Daily Star-lebanon

MUSCAT: Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf on Tuesday ruled out an "exceptional" bailout by oil-rich Gulf states of Western countries caught up in the turmoil of the global financial crisis. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, grouping Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are being urged by the West to contribute "exceptional" sums to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as the two institutions come to the rescue of ailing world economies.But Assaf, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a GCC meeting in Muscat, said the Gulf states should not be the only ones turning out their pockets.

"If there is a need for an increase in financing these institutions, then Saudi Arabia, and I expect the same of the other GCC members, will contribute as much as the member countries [of these institutions], not more," he said. Saudi Arabia, the minister added, "has for many years been playing an important role ... and has in the past contributed exceptional funds to the IMF and the World Bank."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said in early November that he believed Gulf states would announce extra money for an IMF bailout fund at the G20 summit in Washington. However, a six-point plan was announced at the November 15 summit which did not include a bailout by Gulf states.

Kuwaiti newspaper As-Siyassah reported last week that the United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to $300 billion to help it curb the global financial meltdown.

Quoting "highly informed" sources, the daily said Washington has asked Saudi Arabia for $120 billion, the UAE for $70 billion, Qatar for $60 billion and was seeking $40 billion from Kuwait. The report has not been confirmed. - AFP

Comment: Of course they will loan us the money, after playing the "game" with the USA.Make your enemy dependent upon you ad this is precisely what is going to happen. In Arab culture, it is not only the money at stake/risk, it is our very soul. Do you really believe this "bailout" will not come with expected attachments and unintended consequences?

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