Qatar

  • The Gulf's Soccer Showdown

    The World Cup’s knockout rounds are in full swing, and followers of Middle East soccer will now have to root for teams outside the region. Despite some compelling narratives – the dramatic politicization of Egyptian star Mo Salah, Iran’s rags-to-riches goalkeeper saving a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shrugging off his team’s loss to Russia with Vladimir Putin – most Middle Eastern sides rather ignominiously crashed out of the tournament in the group stages.

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  • Bridging the Gulf in the GCC

    Relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been fractured for much of the past year. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 citing reports that Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had made remarks of the United States while offering support for Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran, and claiming Doha’s policies fueled regional terrorism and extremism.

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  • Did Saudi Crown Prince Just Endanger His Reform Agenda?

    Anti-corruption crackdown targets princes, wealthy businessmen

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unleashed an unprecedented crackdown on corruption that has, so far, resulted in the detention of more than two hundred people, including almost a dozen princes.

    The most significant targets are former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, whose assets have been frozen; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men and a...

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  • The Gulf Crisis Threatens Tunisia’s Stability

    Qatar is one of Tunisia’s most important trade partners. It has invested, loaned, or assisted Tunisia with more than 1.5 billion USD since 2011, and has directed its media, think-tanks, and PR empire to acclaim the country’s transition to democracy. Thousands of Tunisians work in Qatar, and the current Gulf crisis has allowed a number of Tunisian businessmen to profit from the besieged peninsula by exporting industrial products, and even establishing factories there.

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  • ASEAN and the Qatar Crisis

    The months-old diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and the quartet—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain—has given Doha more reason to push for deeper energy, trade, and investment ties with dynamic economies of the Far East. To pursue these opportunities, last month Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, three countries which have not subscribed to the  Saudi/UAE-led bloc’s narrative of Qatar as a state sponsor of terrorism.

    Although this trip was planned prior to the ongoing Qatar crisis, Al Thani’s visit to these three Southeast Asian countries served to enhance efforts to make the Arabian emirate increasingly important to more countries around the world as part of a strategy to undermine Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s ability to isolate Qatar.

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  • LeBaron Quoted in ThinkProgress on Gulf Crisis


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  • El Sirgany in CNN: Quartet Says Qatar Talks Possible But No Concessions


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  • Religious Tensions Underlying the GCC Rift

    The speed at which poor relations between Qatar and several Gulf Co-operation Council states escalated was astonishing. It was only a few weeks ago that the Qatari Emir had been invited to Riyadh as part of the grand “Arab-Islamic-American Summit.” But in the space of a few days, the GCC has faced the largest set of challenges in its existence, with Saudi Arabia leading the charge to seemingly bring Qatar in line with what it sees as acceptable parameters for a GCC state to operate within, particularly in terms of the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and support for different militant groups. The rift, though, is revealing some interesting fault lines within the GCC. They’re not Sunni-Shia divides, but rather intra-Sunni divides. The irony is that Saudi and Qatar are actually far more on the same side in that divide than they are with anyone else in the GCC.

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  • America’s Disconnect on the Qatar Crisis

    One of the more overlooked effects of the souring of relations between Qatar and many of its neighbors is the potential for the diminishing of America’s military prowess in the region, and the hindrance of its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). This is magnified due to the presence of the al-Udeid airbase in Qatar, from which many reconnaissance and munitions flights against ISIS in Syria and Iraq are done. Further complicating matters for American military activities in the region, and weakening America’s position is the disconnect between President Trump, the State Department, and US Congress, over how to proceed in regards to this crisis that has shaken up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

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  • A Widening Gulf

    Qatar crisis creates a headache for the United States

    Nearly two months in, the diplomatic crisis between the Arab Gulf states is growing ever more complicated. The July 16 Washington Post report that cites unnamed US intelligence officials as claiming that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) precipitated the diplomatic row with Qatar by hacking Qatari state-run news outlets and attributing false statements to the tiny emirate’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is, if true, troubling for several reasons.

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