Podcast: Will Saudi Arabia Step Back from Confrontation with Qatar?


Amid the furor over Saudi Arabia’s breaking of relations with fellow Gulf state Qatar, I spoke with Monocle 24’s The Briefing on Wednesday.

After setting out the developments, in which Riyadh was joined by other countries in a blockade and isolation of Doha, the discussion considers why both sides may step back from confrontation. It also considers the turmoil in the US position, following Donald Trump’s tweets undermining the American position by accusing Qatar of support for extremism — “his advisors had to get him back on a leash”.

Everyone will get back to the table after this little show of force by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Listen from 8:39:

TOP PHOTO: Qatar’s Emir Tamim and Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, February 2016

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    https://twitter.com/abdulkarimomar1/status/871800516124311552 6/5/2017

    After #Turkey’s decision to deploy troops in #Qatar, #Syrian #Kurds express willingness to cooperate with #Saudi_Arabia
    https://www.facebook.com/aranewsenglish/posts/792155330939781 6/9/2017

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE are likely to increasingly focus their engagement with US-backed Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq on undermining Turkish influence
    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/6ga8li/saudi_arabia_and_the_uae_are_likely_to/ 6/9/2017

  2. “Everyone will get back to the table after this little show of force by Saudi Arabia and its allies.”

    Nah. It’s simpler than that. Once that $12 billion from the F15 deal Qatar just signed gets wired over to the US, Trump will call the Saudis off and everything will be back to normal.


    Two sets of people will end up looking like bigger morons if the deal does lead to the end of the boycott: the pro-Saudis who were screaming about the righteousness of the boycott of fellow Muslims – in Ramadan – and the pro-Trumps in the US, crowing about Trump being tough with Muslims.

    I don’t think they’ll try to hide it too much, the connection between the $12billion payoff to the US and the lifting of the boycott. I mean, the money is going to US, not Saudi, it hasn’t cost the US anything, it hasn’t had to lift a finger to get that $12 billion deal (Ok, maybe Trump did have to text the Saudi king “boycott qatar until they pay the US a big sum of money, think of an excuse”, so that’s one finger).

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