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The Blockade on Qatar Opens the Door for Competition

Aug 14, 2018 | 08:30 GMT
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (L) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 15.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (L) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 15.

(YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

More than a year in, the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain is no closer to achieving its goals. The participating countries embarked on the diplomatic and economic siege in a bid to change the Qatari government's behavior, including its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization they consider a potent revolutionary threat to their continuity. It hasn't worked out that way, however. Qatar has weathered the storm with its economy and government intact, thanks in large part to U.S. support. Considering the effort's negligible progress, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has mused that the blockade could continue indefinitely, becoming, like the United States' multidecade blockade of Cuba, the new status quo. And if things keep going as they have been -- without causing enough harm to the U.S. alliance in the Persian Gulf to prompt Washington to intercede -- Salman's prediction...

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