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Qatar and Gulf Countries After the Embargo - Atahan Tümer

The Gulf Crisis that started in 2017 and continues today is very important to understand the region. The accusations of some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, supporting terrorism and providing financial resources against Qatar caused the region's crisis. Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting ISIS and Al Nusra. Saudi Arabia and Egypt also charged Qatar with giving financial and political support to the Muslim Brotherhood. We must not forget that these countries consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Bahrain, one of the countries that cut diplomatic relations other than these countries, claimed Qatar gave financial support to Iran-backed groups. We must not forget that this crisis is not a crisis that emerged in one day. Of course, the increasing tension, which is also influenced by the balance of power, resulted in a crisis at one point. In such an environment, 5 Arab countries decided to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen terminated their ties with Qatar. The political and economic embargo imposed on Qatar has caused problems in many areas. Qatar, which has enormous energy reserves and is of great importance compared to the area it covers, has experienced significant economic issues. For example, Qatar Airways had great difficulties due to the closure of the airspace of countries that cut diplomatic relations to Qatar. Travel times have been prolonged, and this caused the passengers not to choose them, causing economic damage to the company. At this point in Qatar and Turkey's rapprochement, countries have increased the commercial partnership between them. Qatar has been a lot of investment in Turkey and started to gain ground in different sectors during this process; both governments have established excellent partnerships. Turkey has likewise had the opportunity to invest in Qatar, and Turkey invested in industries such as the food sector that Qatar suffered due to the embargo. Qatar also as rapprochement with Turkey, establishing relations with the United States, lived crisis was intended to circumvent the slightest damage.

These countries, which play very critical roles in energy production and produce large quantities, are also crucial for the world energy markets. The embargo left in the past months is good news for these countries, the region, and the world energy markets. Qatar, which currently meets most countries' energy needs in the region, is the embargo's biggest winner. In this case, it seems likely that Qatar, which has made a significant gain both economically and strategically, will enter a rapid economic recovery period. Due to the embargo's lifting, Qatar's extra costs in its energy exports will be eliminated, contributing to their economy. There will be cooperation among the countries in the region in many fields such as trade, finance, security, industry, and agriculture but especially in energy. At this point, it seems possible that attention will turn to the Strait of Hormuz. The reason behind this is the energy traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, including the Gulf countries.

We must not forget that the countries applying the embargo have also been badly affected by this embargo. The loss of the market and political problems they were experiencing caused significant damage to these countries. It has been painfully revealed that the high tension in the region has not benefited any country. Almost every country suffered economically and strategically. At this point, most countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will increase cooperation with Qatar. Although the tension does not entirely disappear, economic activities that will start may cause the re-establishment of ties between them. We must not forget that the embargo lifting will cause all countries' growth in the region.

The security of the energy trade in the region stands before us as a completely different problem. The involvement of even countries outside the region makes the situation more complicated. Adding Iran to the equation to understand the Gulf countries will help anyone analyze the region and open the doors to understanding the region. This will make more sense if we take into account that Iran is explicitly excluded from the Gulf Cooperation Council. Another reason may be that alliances in the region develop around Iran, and perhaps the most important actor is Iran. Especially after the nuclear energy deal, the rapprochement of countries uncomfortable with the agreement also has an effect. At this point, possible policies of the Biden era have the chance to both raise and lower the tension in the region. What kind of future awaits the region is a complete mystery.


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