Germany and the Gulf Dictatorships

Newsletter 2013/04/30 – The Dangers of Repression

DOHA/BERLIN (Own report) – German specialists in foreign policy are
expressing their misgivings about Berlin’s intensive cooperation with
the Arabian dictatorships at the Gulf, particularly with Qatar.
According to a recent analysis published by the German Institute of
Global and Area Studies (GIGA), this cooperation could prove useful on
an economic level. However, on a political level, it should be taken
into consideration that, until now, Qatar has proven extremely
resistant to outside influence. This is not only the case of Berlin
and Brussels’ aspiration of concluding a free trade agreement with the
Gulf States, but also in questions of human rights and of embedding
the population using parliamentary democracy. The GIGA analysis points
out that even the Qatari ruling clan does not exclude the possibility
of domestic upheavals on a long term – and therefore refuses to sign
international human rights agreements. The German Institute for
International and Security Affairs (SWP) also points to the limits of
shoring up repressive regimes, as had become evident, most recently,
during the overthrow of the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt. According
to the SWP, the Bahraini opposition’s repression – which is supported
by Qatar – runs the risk, sooner or later, of seeing the local unrest
spreading to other countries, particularly to Saudi Arabia – with
serious consequences. Berlin, however, is supporting this repression
with its delivery of tanks to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

By piotrbein