After Mecca Summit Results, When Will the Bahraini King Stop Begging?

2018-07-09 - 3:34 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): It has been a couple of weeks since the Gulf states announced that they are studying the prospect of providing Bahrain with aid to help the island kingdom face the financial crisis that raised doubts about Manama's ability to pay off its debts, which as a result affected the value of its currency pegged to the dollar in the future market.

The amount of support to be provided by "Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait" hasn't been announced. However, the ruling family in Bahrain doesn't seem optimistic regarding the joint statement issued by the 3 states, as the state press has addressed the news with indifference.

Bahrain had asked support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last November, but the UAE did not comment on the request. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia asked the Bahraini Government for information about its budget and expenditure and set financial conditions on aid.

In Mecca, where the leaders of these states met the Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II on (June 11), the financial support proposed did not meet Amman's ambition that witnessed an angry popular atmosphere for days, as people protested against a new law that increases the income tax.

What the three gulf countries proposed was disappointing to the Jordanians, i.e. the announcement of an aid package that doesn't exceed $2.5 billion spread over a period of 5 years for a country whose public debt is over $39 billion, which is equivalent to 90% of the GDP!

Mamdouh Abbadi, a former Jordanian Prime Minister said "the amount will not benefit Jordan in anything (...) if they opened the borders for importation, exportation and employment, it would have been better than this amount".

The amount is divided into four terms: a deposit in the Central Bank of Jordan, providing guarantees to the international bank for Jordan's interest, annual support for the Government's budget for five years, in addition to financing development funds for development projects.

Jordanian voices said that the Mecca summit "was merely for registering the attendance of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (...) The mountain had brought forth a mouse". So, if those were the summit's decisions, what do Bahrainis expect from a mere statement published by the Saudi News Agency?

No one will meet the King of Bahrain in Mecca, and not even Ha'il. He is not Abdullah II and Manama is not as important as Amman is to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, and it hasn't even experienced the political turmoil which hit the last capitals of the Levant, close to Saudi Arabia. There's also no fear regarding this [the turmoil] as long as it tightened the grip on its dissidents with the help of these states, unless it directed Abdulatif Al-Mahmoud to hold a second meeting in "Al-Fateh Mosque".

Manama, which is still benefiting from 7.5 billion dollars of the Emirati, Saudi and Kuwaiti Marshall funds, must not raise the ceiling of its expectations: its public debt is $24 billion (less than Jordan) and the balances of its rulers in foreign banks amount to tens of billions.

This does not mean that these states are interested in combating corruption practiced by the Al Khalifa family, as much as they feel that the kingdom has become a burden on them. Doesn't King Hamad feel ashamed everytime he knocks their doors as a beggar, or is he from a family who has mastered the "profession" of begging?!


Arabic Version



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