The 2017-2021 Gulf rift: Strategic implications and the way forward

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This article is featured in the ORIENT III 2021

For more than three years, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed an economic blockade and diplomatic sanctions on Qatar. In January 2021 the Emir of Qatar attended a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit and signed a reconciliation agreement in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. I argue that this agreement should be seen more as a truce and less as a permanent peace. The roots of the rift have yet to be adequately addressed.

Gawdat Bahgat is a professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He is the author of 12 books on the Middle East. The opinions expressed in this piece are the author’s alone and do not represent the views of the U.S. government or the policies of the Department of Defense.

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