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Monday, October 18, 2021

New campaigns aim to sink public opinion of Qatar in the US


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Saudi lobbying firm has reportedly paid $1,000 a second to run anti-Qatar commercials on US-based news programs this week.

Meanwhile, the UAE is releasing a new documentary today aimed at connecting Qatar to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

The two projects, both aimed at swaying public opinion about Qatar in the US, come amid an impasse in the Gulf crisis.

For illustrative purposes only.

Some 50 days after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar, officials have yet to agree on any solutions, or even meet to discuss the dispute.

Key mutual allies including Kuwait, the UK, France and Turkey have urged a swift end to the blockade.

The US has sent mixed signals, but more recently has also pushed for resolution.

Qatar Insider

But the Gulf states might be hoping for a reversal of that support, if their new PR efforts are any indication.

According to Al Jazeera, the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC) has recently spent $138,000 on seven 30-second anti-Qatar TV ads.

The recently aired commercials, which seem to be aimed at US politicians, allege that Qatar supports terrorism and is working to destabilize the region.


The ads refer viewers to The Qatar Insider, a website with social media pages that list damning but mostly unsubstantiated claims about the country.

These include that Qatar supported eight terrorist groups in Syria, has fomented Libyan unrest and lied about being hacked in May.

9/11 documentary

Meanwhile, the UAE is expected to air a new film called Qatar…The Road to Manhattan this week on Sky News Arabia.

The documentary is supposed to highlight Qatar’s “hidden role” in financing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

However, some have questioned the timing of the film’s release.

And others, including Qatar’s ambassador to the US, have pointed out that the 19 hijackers involved hailed mainly from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. None were from Qatar.

Pro-Qatar ad in London

Amid the Gulf dispute, authorities in Qatar have also been pushing back with their own PR campaign.

Earlier this month, pro-government advertisements were seen on London black cabs. Qatar has also been increasing lobbying efforts in Washington, DC.


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