British Prime Minister visits Gulf states – hat in hand

Daylife/AP photo by Hassan Ammar

Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, is visiting the Gulf states to urge them to help stabilise the global economy in the midst of economic turmoil…

The British prime minister has called on countries with large resources, such as the Gulf states and China, to contribute to an international fund aimed at helping smaller economies.

“They are in a position, as states with significant wealth reserves, that they can contribute to refinancing the stability of the global financial system,” his spokesman told reporters on Friday. “It’s in everyone’s interests that there is stability and, over the long term, sustainable growth in global markets…”

Ibrahim Oweiss, professor of economics at Georgetown University, told Al Jazeera that there was little incentive for the Arab countries to contribute as they were not responsible for the financial turmoil.

“There is nothing they [the West] can give in return as a business transaction. They don’t have enough to give, or they are not willing to give any economic collateral for any aid that they get,” he said.

“I think Gordon Brown’s trip will be an exercise in futility.”

Gee, they don’t wish to loan Britain money just because the Brits are nice guys – and have this terrific history of helping out in the Middle East?

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