Gulf states hope deal finally ends tension with Qatar

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There is growing optimism that a diplomatic and security deal stuck this week between Qatar and other Gulf nations to respect one another’s sovereignty will finally end months of tension.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in March, accusing Doha of meddling in their internal affairs.

Euronews’ correspondent in Dubai François Chignac,said: ‘‘The press led with the deal, detailing the backstage talks without giving any real details of it. Yet these are the questions that now need to be asked, because even if the Gulf monarchies fall out from time to time, they cannot remain disunited for long as political problems in the region are frequent. Most notably Syria and its refugee crisis, which is destabilising neighbouring Arab countries and the growing power of Iran which worries many of the Sunni-led Arab states. Tehran has the power to create regional discord for its own ends.’‘

Tension initially rose in July after Doha supported Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, in direct contrast to the other Gulf Cooperation Council members.

Doha’s suspected backing of Islamist militants in Syria and the region has also been a major bone of contention between Qatar and its Arab neighbours.

Euronews’ Doha correspondent Maha Barada said: ‘‘While this truce potentially ends the row for now, it is unclear if there has been any shift in views on how to deal with crucial issues affecting the region. For instance observers want to know if Qatar has agreed to stop its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, bringing it into line with the policies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It is unclear if the agreement has resulted in such a step.’‘

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