The power constellations in the Middle East are growing ever more complex. On June 5, Saudi Arabia along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off ties with Qatar, accusing it of a slew of trespasses, including support for terrorism. At first, Riyadh assumed that it could quickly forge a unified regional front against Doha and was counting on Washington’s support in this endeavor, particularly in light of US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the kingdom. However, not only has Riyadh failed to achieve this goal, it may have brought its rivals closer together.
The move to blockade Qatar is in line with the Saudi tendency for drastic foreign policy decisions in recent years, including its war on Yemen. Now the remarks made by the conflicting parties as well as regional and international players reveal that a new framing of regional powers is to be expected.