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GCC foreign ministers on 17 April agreed a plan to deescalate months-long, intra-regional tension that primarily pits Saudi Arabia and Qatar against each other. But this initial agreement – which stipulates that GCC members not undermine each other’s “interests, security and stability” – is unlikely to fully resolve regional troubles. A similarly-worded November 2013 deal failed to achieve its goals: on 5 March, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar after deciding that Doha had failed to adhere to the November agreement.
Core issues remain unresolved: Qatar’s role in Egypt and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the rhetoric of Qatar-based preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and the trial in Egypt of journalists from Qatar’s state-backed Al Jazeera TV network. Additionally, ambassadors recalled in March have not yet been dispatched to Doha.
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