Qatar: Lessons from how a small state survived a big blockade

The end of the Saudi-Qatari row is good news for the US. It also highlights how nimbleness and internal resilience can overcome high-pressure tactics from bigger neighbours.

Qatar's ability to stand up for itself grew as its relations with key Western countries flourished. PHOTO: AFP
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A simple hug in a desert resort, and it was all over. Almost four years of bitter dispute between Saudi Arabia and its small neighbour, Qatar, ended this week as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embraced Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar's head of state.

The move is good news for the Middle East, and a boost for the incoming Joe Biden administration in Washington, which will no longer have to contend with yet another strategic complication in a region complicated enough.

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