Skip to main content

Saudi-Qatar divide means reset for GCC

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have different ideas about what constitutes internal and external threats to the Gulf region, making their partnership within the Gulf Cooperation Council difficult.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal (L) talks with Qatar Foreign Minister Khalid Al Attiya following their meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and members of the Arab Peace Initiative at the United States Embassy in Paris, September 8, 2013. REUTERS/Susan Walsh/Pool (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX13CWG
Read in 

The withdrawal of the Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini ambassadors from Qatar did not surprise many. The relationship between the Emirati-Saudi axis and Qatar had been rife with tension and mistrust, especially after the beginning of the Arab uprisings and the fall of a number of countries' regimes, in particular that of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a traditional ally of the Saudis and Emiratis.

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia share the same concerns about internal threats to their stability. These concerns form the bases for their foreign policies, and the main reason for their disagreement with Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. The dispute with the latter two, however, is not as intense as the one with Qatar.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.