For several years now, the French Senator has been working with a louche international strategy consultant to denigrate the reputation of certain friendly states.
The award-winning film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Choderlos de Laclos, a story about power games, fateful affairs, deceptions and intrigues of the French nobility during the 18th century. Hollywood sends its greetings. It seems as if there is a reprise in the 21st century, but this time on the international stage.
In the middle of it, a French senator, Nathalie Goulet, known for changing her positions as well as her shirts.
Since 2014 she has been active for the United Arab Emirates undercover. The aim is to strengthen the influence of the UAE in France and at the same time to neutralize the opponents of such efforts. She is working closely with Ghanem Nuseibeh, a UK passport holder. He is a notorious lobbyist and has been the owner of the London-based think tank Cornerstone Globalsince 2009. This company is closely linked to the Emirate Tahnoon bin Zayed and his right hand Hashem al Qaisseh.
An ideal partnership. Here the power-obsessed, opportunistic senator, polyglot lobbyist in London with a strong backup in the Emirates. No secret is made of the close ties.
On the contrary, multiple tweets are used to brush each otherbellies. Joint meetings and lectures are planned, photos of joint trips are posted on the web. Whats striking is that both are always of the same opinion on all matters and defend the positions of Saudi Arabia and the UAE well-behaved.The tweets of the closely associated lobbyists also provide some insights into their somewhat linear geopolitical worldview. So wrote Ghanem Nuseibeh on 14 October 2019 “Erdogan is much more dangerous to West and Middle East than was Saddam“.
Back to Ghanem‘s business, where the composition of Cornerstone Global sales is really striking. In 2019, 20% of Cornerstone Globals sales came from its only customer Roaya Media Networks in Abu Dhabi. Its president is the said Hashem al Qaisseh. And where do the remaining 80% come from? Not from other customers. On the contrary, these are various transfers from a private account in Switzerland in the name of …….Ghanem Nuseibeh.
Thus a private account with Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), a private bank with its head office in Geneva and a branch in Zurich in a prime location. This private account, in turn, is supplied with money from the UAE. This raises questions. What kind of game is played here?
Nathalie Goulet traveled to the UAE several times, officially on six occasions in the period 2014 -2018. In addition, Ghanem Nuseibeh arranged an unofficial trip in 2017. All trips have been paid for by the UAE or the Arab Coalition for Yemen (of which the UAE is a member). The booking of tickets and hotels for both Nathalie Goulet and Ghanem Nuseibeh were effected by a UAE based travel agency named Al Jara Travel and Tourism LLC (see picture).
In a blind quest for influence and power, a French senator embarks on a lobbying mission in threshold of a foreign state that is situated in a geopolitically highly sensitive region. Can this go well,especially with a partner in London, whose business policies seem more than questionable ? Is this kind of unofficial foreign policy in France’s interest? Mrs Goulet would do well to make sure that her dangerous liaisons do not turn into fatal ones. There has also been a Hollywood film adoption on this topic already.