Facing an economic and political siege launched without warning and characterised by a toxic mix of misinformation and disinformation, the Qatari government adopted a rule-of-law response. With the Arabian Gulf cup providing a chance for Riyadh-Doha relations to improve and Saudi officials perhaps keen to lure Qatari investment for the Aramco IPO and other parts of Vision 2030, the Saudis have been pragmatic in demonstrating goodwill toward Doha. First, there is US pressure on the Emirates to reconcile with Qatar. And despite the cold relations between Libya and Saudi Arabia due to an alleged 2003 assassination attempt against then Crown Prince Abdullah, the Saudis never called on Muammar al-Qaddafi to step down. Yet not only did Qatar call on the Libyan leader to go, but it was also the first Arab country to commit to the NATO-led military effort in the North African state. Meanwhile, Qatari and Saudi ties grow ever warmer. Are the UAE and Bahrain embracing an Israeli vision of the Middle East? After more than two years of strained relations between Qatar and its partners on the Gulf Cooperation Council, participants at the 40th GCC summit in Riyadh in December 2019 made a push for reconciliation. As Dr Kristian Coates Ulrichsen recently stated, “So much animosity has been directed against Qatar from Abu Dhabi that those ties may be harder to repair than the ones with Saudi Arabia.”. In 2008, the Saudi foreign minister, according to Syrian government-controlled newspaper Teshreen, expressed objections to Qatar’s attempts to resolve the political crisis in Lebanon, which traditionally falls under Saudi-Syrian influence. What does the WTO ruling mean for Qatar-Saudi relations? At first, Doha and Riyadh appeared to see eye to eye on Syria. “We think we are still at an early stage … and some time is needed to restore confidence.”. In this context, the Saudi leadership sees efforts aimed at isolating Doha as far less critical in the current period compared to previous periods. Javier Tebas, the president of Spain’s La Liga, cuttingly observed that: “If Saudi Arabia wants to be taken seriously [in world sport], it simply has to play by the rules.”. All (51) Qatar crisis (34) Qatar (27) Saudi Arabia (11) December 9, 2019, 2:08 pm. Qatar, which like Saudi Arabia officially practices a Wahhabi version of Islam, evidently feels more comfortable with the Brotherhood sharing power than do the Saudis. Although Trump’s “betrayal” may have been the YPG terrorist organisation in that instance, Riyadh and other Gulf capitals wonder if Trump may turn on them next. The WTO report also shines a spotlight on the different responses to the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt, which passed the three-year mark on June 5. The WTO report attracted widespread attention due to the drawn-out attempt by a Saudi-led consortium to acquire Newcastle United, a football team in the English Premier League whose games had been systematically and illegally streamed by beoutQ. Qatar’s premier attended a Gulf Arab summit in Riyadh last week, its highest representation since 2017. In June 2019, the ICJ denied a counter-filing by the UAE, but a date for a full hearing of the case has still not been set. In the lead up to this month’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit (the third since the Gulf crisis erupted in mid-2017), scheduled for December 10, there have been indicators suggesting that Saudi and Qatari officials are taking steps aimed at mending relations. What does the WTO ruling mean for Qatar-Saudi relations? Despite the rapprochement, not all was smooth sailing between the two countries, especially when it concerned Syria. This approach emphasised the institutions of global governance that had been designed to prevent abuses of power, and played a key role in combating the blockading states’ narrative that had tried to portray Qatar as a loose cannon in regional affairs. Khabib: An unabashedly Muslim champion in an Islamophobic world, Show people, places and other topics in this story. There is no denying that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s tactics, priorities, perceptions, and strategies in the region do not always align. This approach emphasised the institutions of global governance that had been designed to prevent abuses of power, and played a key role in combating the blockading states' narrative that had tried to portray Qatar as a loose cannon in regional affairs. Biden’s foreign-policy gatekeepers tell diplomats to hold their calls—until they’re in charge. By the same token, the possibility of Abu Dhabi joining Riyadh in pursuing a rapprochement with Doha cannot be dismissed for two main reasons. The WTO report also shines a spotlight on the different responses to the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt, which passed the three-year mark on June 5. The emir responded positively and dispatched a delegation headed by the then Qatari prime minister. Once propped up by Qatari high-rollers, Saudi city prays for truce By next March, the new Saudi crown prince, Sultan, had paid a three-day visit to Doha, the first since 2002.

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