Monday, August 14, 2023

UAE Engages New PR Firm to Leverage Think Tanks

Here is more from Politico:

The United Arab Emirates’ state-owned renewable energy company has brought on a new PR firm specializing in crisis management to push back on critics and boost the wealthy oil state’s environmental creds ahead of a UAE-hosted round of United Nations climate talks in November.

— The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, or Masdar, inked a new contract within the past few weeks with First International Resources to spin negative press and criticism of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the chief executive of the Emirati state-owned oil company and president of the upcoming COP28 talks, according to a copy of the contract filed with the Justice Department.

— The six-month contract comes with a $100,000-per-month retainer, plus another $132,000 for the U.S. portion of the polling project, DOJ filings show. 

— The firm offers a variety of different avenues for accomplishing that goal, which include leveraging think tanks and international groups such as the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institutions and the Heritage Foundation to “spread favorable perceptions” of the summit and arranging meetings with members of Congress and the Biden administration. “If appropriate,” the contract adds, the firm will work to “activate or mobilize our connections inside the ‘US Jewish Establishment’ to help support the campaign’s overall objectives.”


As noted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the Emirati lobby has contacted think tanks scores of times, and a number of US think tanks - including the Atlantic Council, CSIS, and Middle East Institute (MEI) - have received millions of dollars from the UAE. 

Update: The Heritage Foundation is not happy that First International Resources (FIR) is trying to leverage the think tank, and sought to distance itself from FIR's efforts.

“I don’t know who these grifters are pretending to be able to ‘leverage’ The Heritage Foundation, but they’re selling a bill of goods,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said, adding that “Conservatives aren’t for sale, they won’t be influenced by globalists, and they’ll never buy into the Green scam.”