SNAPSHOTS

A Potential Breakthrough in Qatar Paves the Way for GCC Reconciliation

MIN READDec 18, 2020 | 18:35 GMT

Qatar’s defense minister (center) waits for the arrival of his Turkish counterpart to meet with the prime minister of Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli on Aug. 17, 2020.

(AFP via Getty Images)

For the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the potential easing of the Qatar blockade may help thaw the bloc’s most immediate crisis. But differing levels of U.S. pressure and differing approaches to threats like Iran will continue to undermine overall regional unity by driving policy rifts between Arab Gulf states. Recent leaks have indicated that the upcoming Jan. 5 GCC summit could see a breakthrough in the three-year-old blockade of Qatar. In particular, sources suggest that the airspace restrictions in the country might be lifted and that a more formal negotiation process could be announced during the summit. Upon taking office in January, the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has also signaled it intends to prioritize ending the Qatar blockade as part of the new White House’s greater push to unify allies in the Middle East. ...

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