Although the White House was thrust into the uncomfortable role of mediator between its Gulf allies, US and Emirati interests had remained closely aligned when it came to most other issues in the region. That relationship, however, is now being tested thanks to the UAE’s increasingly independent foreign policy.
Results for Tag: Gulf Cooperation Council
Some small legal steps have been taken by some of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). These countries have agreed on standard legislation to protect domestic migrant workers, but the rights this legislation gives them is still weaker than the countries’ current labor laws. Now, governments are starting to include legal articles regarding their rights. But the most important challenge lies with the reform the Kafala system. Once the system is clear on the rights of migrant workers, mentalities should follow.
According to the announcement, the plan would entail digging a maritime canal along Saudi Arabia’s border with Qatar, turning it into an island and allowing shipping to bypass the emirate. To do so, Saudi Arabia would use Egyptian engineers who have experience building the Suez Canal. The costs have been put at 2.8 billion Saudi riyals ($750 million) and work could start within a year if approved. So far, no official statement has been issued confirming the likelihood of the plan.
The economic integration has always come first in the GCC, while political cooperation has tended to be shaky. This is because there has often been a general concern among the members about ceding sovereignty in favour of adopting a more homogenous foreign policy. Despite the political differences, the GCC is still seeking ways to cooperate.
The new emir was tested by the Saudis and Emiratis with the aim of changing Qatar’s regional policies, and after the crisis was resolved there was an improvement in relations, notably with respect to the Iran nuclear deal and Syria. But this proved to be temporary and was followed by the much larger crisis that persists until today.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are committed to isolating the tiny emirate in every way imaginable. But Dorsey believes that efforts to undermine Qatar’s sports industry could backfire. Assuming the World Cup does go ahead in Qatar in 2022, millions of football fans from the Arab world could be prohibited by their own governments from attending. If that happens, then Qataris will have the last laugh.