Gulf States End Blockade of Qatar
Leaders of the Persian Gulf states that blockaded Qatar in the summer of 2017 have now ended the operation, with no announcement of any goals achieved or concessions extracted from their intended target.
According to Qatar paper The Peninsula, the emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hama Al Thani signed the document in the Saudi Arabian city of Al Ula January 5. The agreement will pave the way to end the Gulf crisis, it said, without elaborating.
Among the co-signatories were his counterparts from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. Saudi Arabia opened the airspace, land and sea border with Qatar at midnight 4-5 January and more steps to end the crisis are expected in the coming days, The Peninsula said.
The sanctions were intended among other objectives to warn Qatar off its support for liberal attitudes in the Middle East and lack of hostility toward Iran, against whom Saudi Arabia is waging war in Yemen.
However a report by Columbia University in October said that the sanctions may have backfired as they were imposed without clear objectives and had no effect on limiting Qatar's energy exports. To the contrary, Qatar created flexible and reliable supply chains and business arrangements to protect it in future. On top of that, it also has the confidence that comes from knowing it can manage under such circumstances, which will help it to cope with such attacks should they recur, the report said.