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QATAR vs SAUDI ARABIA: Who Benefits from Shift in Gulf State Dynamics?

21stcenturywire.com / Niraj Srivastava / JULY 7, 2017

In an analysis of the ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar published on June 12, this writer had commented that the “Saudis might have bitten off more than they can chew.” That is what appears to be happening, according to the latest developments in the region.

When the Saudis and their allies—the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain—announced breaking of diplomatic relations and imposition of a blockade against Qatar on June 5 for “sponsoring terrorism,” they expected Qatar to capitulate to their demands quickly, within days. However, that has not happened so far, more than a month later.

If anything, Qatar has hardened its stand and categorically rejected the threats and ultimatums issued by the Saudis and their friends, refusing to succumb to their pressure. The Qatari Foreign Minister has said that Qatar will “never surrender our sovereignty to end the siege” and saw “little chance of a rapid reconciliation.” Qatar has also reminded the UAE that 80% of its electricity supplies depended on the export of Qatari gas to the Emirates.

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