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Concerns over finances, not Iran, will end Qatar crisis

Citizens of Gulf States leading the embargo against Qatar are having to make economic sacrifices while their leaders continue their "ill-advised" and "unsupervised" spending.
General view of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 30, 2019. Picture taken May 30, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC14404B7D30

The surprise decision by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to participate in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup football tournament, which began in Doha on Nov. 26, has raised the first real hopes of an end to the 30-month Gulf stalemate. In June 2017, the three countries, along with Egypt, launched a total economic and political blockade of Qatar for its ostensible support for terrorism and interference in their domestic affairs. 

The embargo, accompanied by a vicious international media campaign, aimed to isolate Qatar diplomatically and also foment domestic political unrest by undercutting its ability to finance what is likely the world’s most extensive welfare state. These efforts backfired, instead pushing Qatar toward new security and trading partners and prompting ordinary Qataris to rally around their leadership.

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