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Gulf countries take back seat on Syria route

It seems Saudi Arabia is more interested in Yemen than in Syria these days, which explains dwindling Gulf support for Syrian rebels.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al Khalid al Sabah, Qatar's Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and UAE'S Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L-R) pose for a group photo during an extraordinary meeting in Riyadh January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al N
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The situation appears grim for the Syrian opposition in the wake of the Geneva meeting — which ended March 3 — with a delegation from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The December loss of Aleppo to the regime followed by Russian-sponsored peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana in January have further divided a fragile rebel front and marked a turning point in the Syrian conflict.

Yet the major Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), which have been the Syrian rebels’ main backers, have remained relatively mum on the significant shift taking place in the war-torn country. Have Gulf countries given up on Syria?

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