UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be in Kuwait today to discuss finding a resolution to the Qatar dispute with Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE cut ties and severed transportation links with Qatar in early June over Doha’s support for Islamist groups in the region. The spat has shown few signs of abating; on Friday, it was revealed that Qataris would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia to participate in the annual Hajj pilgrimage—a policy not even applied to Iran.
Earlier in the week, Qatar restored full diplomatic ties with Iran, which were downgraded last year over tensions with Saudi Arabia. The move was denounced by the UAE’s foreign minister, who criticised Doha’s “arrogance and adolescent behaviour”.
The heated dispute between Qatar and its neighbours risks fracturing the Gulf Cooperation Council, which the US had hoped to use as a bulwark against Iran’s increasing influence. Meanwhile, plans to use the GCC as a common market with a common currency have been damaged for the foreseeable future.
Simon is the founder of Foreign Brief who served as managing director from 2015 to 2021. A lawyer by training, Simon has worked as an analyst and adviser in the private sector and government. Simon’s desire to help clients understand global developments in a contextualised way underpinned the establishment of Foreign Brief. This aspiration remains the organisation’s driving principle.