Chances ‘Slim’ for a Quick Fix to GCC Standoff

By Ambassador Gary Grappo, Former U.S. Ambassador to Oman

Grappo served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He’s currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver.

The dispute between Qatar and its four regional counterparts – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – has entered into its fourth month with no end in sight. After severing ties with Qatar, the four Arab countries imposed a blockade on the small Gulf nation and provided Qatar with a list of steep demands that it must meet in order for the blockade to be lifted. Other regional players, namely Iran, have taken advantage of this crisis in order to form closer ties to Qatar. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Gary Grappo, former U.S. Ambassador to Oman, to discuss the possibility of reconciliation between the disputing parties, Iran’s budding relationship with Qatar, and the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council.  

The Cipher Brief: It seems as though Qatar and the Gulf countries that severed ties with it are at an impasse with neither side bending. Do you expect any reconciliation or additional confrontation in the short term?

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