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Trump win further distances US from GCC on Syria

The Gulf Cooperation Council anxiously awaits to see how US President-elect Donald Trump plans to deal with the uncertainties surrounding US Middle East policies.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2SPX6

Donald Trump’s historic victory this month shocked many across the world. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials must deal with countless uncertainties surrounding Washington’s Middle East foreign policy in the post-Obama era. One area of grave concern for Arab Gulf monarchies is Syria, where since 2011 the Saudis and Qataris have invested heavily in Sunni Islamist forces fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

For Riyadh and Doha, the upcoming transition in Washington constitutes a major setback to their interests in this conflict. With Trump stepping into the Oval Office on Jan. 20, the prospects for Saudi Arabia and Qatar achieving their regime change objective in Damascus appear dimmer than ever — and those for Assad’s survival seem stronger than any point since the ongoing crisis erupted almost six years ago.

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