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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appears to have taken a major step towards resolving an internal dispute that led Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar eight months ago. Following many rounds of discussion over the past several months, Saudi Arabia finally returned its ambassador to Doha this week. The UAE and Bahrain will likely follow suit, though it is unclear if the dispute has reached a final resolution.
Since the 2011 ouster of Egypt’s Husni Mubarak, the GCC has been roiled by an internal dispute that pits Qatar, supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, against Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE. The dispute came to a head last year when the Brotherhood’s Muhammad Mursi was removed from Egypt’s presidency, to be replaced by army chief ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. Doha backed Mr Mursi’s government with billions of dollars in loans, grants and fuel aid. Since his ouster, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have lavished aid on Mr Sisi and exerted pressure on Qatar to withdraw its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other political Islamist movements around the region.
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