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As Qatar-Bahrain rift widens, economic costs emerge

Qatar’s economic and geopolitical separation from Bahrain and other GCC states will come with economic costs.

Tensions between Bahrain and Qatar have reached an enormously high level. Last month, Bahrain’s Shura Council condemned Doha’s alleged “coordination and cooperation” with the Arabian archipelago country’s Shiite opposition and Iran “to spark chaos” amid the unrest of 2011. According to Bahrain News Agency, Qatar was behind the creation of social media accounts and “hostile Bahraini opposition websites” to “ignite the flames of sectarianism” and topple the Al-Khalifa regime.

The cited evidence was a phone call between former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani and Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s dominant and, since then, dissolved Shiite opposition society. Both Qatari officials and Al-Wefaq representatives officially responded, maintaining that Doha’s then top diplomat made that call during a state-sponsored visit to the island kingdom when Qatari mediators were pursuing initiatives to resolve Bahrain’s crisis. Doha and Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition faction pointed out that Hamad bin Jassim came to Bahrain from Saudi Arabia and that he did so with King Hamad’s approval.

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