'Gulf crisis could end as unexpectedly as it started'
August 08 2018 09:12 PM
Dr Mehran Kamrava
Dr Mehran Kamrava is director of the Centre for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University.

The Gulf crisis that started on June 5, 2017 was so sudden and very unexpected and it could also end in a similar fashion, according to an expert on Middle East studies.
Dr Mehran Kamrava, director of the Centre for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, feels that the blockade on Qatar was imposed by the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE on a personal level.
“This blockade started on a personal level mainly by the rulers of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Qatar handled it very well. It started suddenly and unexpectedly on a personal level as Mohamed bin Salman plays a great role in Saudi politics and Mohamed bin Zayed in the UAE.
"We also know that the longer it continues the higher the cost for the UAE and the Saudi for their public relations engagement. Now they are feeling the pinch and it could end as unpredictably as it started,” Dr Kamrava told Gulf Times.
“I genuinely believe that when the blockade was imposed, the siege countries and the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular, felt that they would bring Qatar to its knees in two weeks or in a month’s time at the most. After 14 months of blockade, not only has Qatar survived, it has emerged stronger. It made the right decisions at the right time and made use of the crisis as an opportunity,” explained the official, who has been following the Middle East affairs for a very long time.
According to CIRS director, one of the reasons for Qatar’s resilience is that the country had the right foundations to face the blockade. “These foundations were the result of investments that Qatar had made in universities and research institutions and in its human resources. These types of investment in universities and research institutions provide the right foundation for the country and enable Qatar to progress and thrive,” he described. 
As for the US role in resolving the Gulf crisis, Dr Kamrava noted that the US is trying to solve the crisis and there could be a GCC summit in the Fall. “There was talk of a GCC summit initiated by the US in May and now there is talk of a summit in October. The Americans are eager to bring an end to the crisis,” he added.



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