Gulf Rift Threatens Region’s Stability

By Marcelle M. Wahba

Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba retired from the U.S. Department of State in May 2008, class of Minister Counselor, after a 22-year career spent mostly in the Middle East. Wahba was confirmed as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates in October 2001. She received the White House Presidential Meritorious Service Award for her service in the UAE. Ambassador Wahba was appointed by the Board of Directors on December 10, 2014 to serve as the first President of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW). Prior to her appointment as President, Wahba led DerMar International, LLC, a consulting firm focused on assisting American businesses seeking to establish or expand their presence in the Middle East. Ambassador Wahba is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of CIEE, and on the board of advisors to the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

The dispute between Qatar and its Arab neighbors has now entered its fourth week, causing an uptick in tension throughout the Middle East. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel spoke with Marcelle Wahba, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, about the reasons behind Qatar’s isolation as well as why Qatar has elected to pursue a controversial foreign policy approach.

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