The four-year blockade of Qatar by rival Gulf powers is over, but fault lines among these states remain. If the gaps are not bridged, the competition could exacerbate conflicts – and spark new ones – well outside the region.
Hundreds of prisoners began mass hunger strike in protest of detention conditions.
Prisoners in Jau prison in south – which incarcerates majority of Bahrain’s 1,200 political prisoners – 7 Aug began hunger strike to demand better conditions, including increased time outside cells and better health and education facilities; by late month, reports suggested more than 800 prisoners had joined action, making it largest prisoner hunger strike in country’s history. In rare demonstrations, villagers 7 Aug in Sanabis, on outskirts of capital Manama, held protest in solidarity with prisoners; protesters also took to streets in downtown Manama.
Dialogue efforts in the Gulf have stalled amid rising tensions. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains how the EU and its member states can help revive Saudi-Iranian and other talks.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Crisis Group’s Middle East experts Joost Hiltermann and Dina Esfandiary about the World Cup in Qatar, regional politics and friction between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Israel would like to forge a military alliance with the Gulf Arab monarchies as part of its strategy for checking Iran’s power projection in the region. For Gulf capitals, however, the Israeli ambitions risk too much and offer too little.
Post-9/11 events have shaken Riyadh’s and Abu Dhabi’s faith in the durability of Washington’s support. As part of our series, The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Dina Esfandiary says U.S.-Gulf ties will likely not regain the strength they had twenty years ago.
The Gulf Arab states have perceived threats from Iran since the 1979 revolution. Frictions have lessened of late, offering an important opportunity. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi should keep engaging Tehran with an eye to initiating the broadest possible talks on regional peace and security.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Dina Esfandiary, Crisis Group’s Senior Middle East Adviser, about whether the announcement of an end to the Gulf Cooperation Council dispute means the crisis is really over.
Officially, the dispute between Qatar and three of its Gulf neighbours is over. But the formal declaration says nothing about foreign policy, meaning that intra-Gulf rivalries could continue to stoke conflicts and political tensions in the Middle East and Africa.
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