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Omani-Saudi-Emirati tensions may rise in the Gulf

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Former territorial tensions between Muscat and its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbours have receded in recent decades, allowing smoother cross-border links. However, the boycott of Qatar, escalating tensions over Iran and developments in Yemen’s border province of Mahra are now straining Oman’s relations with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


  • The gap between Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the rest of the GCC could widen, contributing to the regional body’s potential demise.
  • Oman’s role as a mediator in regional disputes -- for example, Yemen -- may be undermined by rising tensions.
  • Unlike in the case of Qatar, new quarrels within the GCC are likely to be kept relatively quiet by the respective leaderships.

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