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article imageGulf ministers meet in order to quell Qatar dispute

By Paul Iddon     Apr 17, 2014 in Politics
Foreign Ministers of Arab states on the west side of the Persian Gulf are meeting in order to discuss the tensions between three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states with their fellow member Qatar.
AFP reports that they are to hold their meeting in Riyadh in order to quell the tense dispute between GCC members Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain on the one side with Qatar on the other. The dispute came after harsh criticism from the former three against the latter one over the latter's policies in the region. Which range from Al Jazeera's critical reporting on human rights abuses in other gulf monarchies to Qatar's open support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE of course recalled their ambassadors from Qatar last month as a way to show their discontentment with that country. They have also sought to isolate it but haven't taken any serious measures in order to do so.
It is not clear, as of writing, how the ministers will seek to resolve this delicate inter-GCC alliance dispute.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has said that the GCC alliance states "are free in their policies, provided they do not harm interests of other members," adding that, "As long as these countries adhere to this principle, there will be no problems among GCC states."
Business Week also has a good analysis which demonstrates how this fallout with its neighbors is directly affecting investor confidence in Qatar.
The report points out that this all comes as the worlds richest country is spending $200 billion on new roads, stadiums and a city in preparation for the World Cup in 2022.
The report also quotes Farouk Soussa, the head of the Middle East economics at Citigroup Inc. in London, explaining how Qatar "is perceived as the party at risk should the dispute escalate, regardless of the real likely economic impact."
He also stated that, "The whole affair has brought into sharper focus the credit dynamics of the individual GCC countries."
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