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Turkey’s Erdogan to visit Qatari ally in push to end blockade

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Photo: AP/Yasin Bulbuljon

Following a trip to Kuwait, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will arrive in Doha today to discuss the 5-month-old GCC crisis.

The visit comes a week after leaked documents revealed a UAE plot to artificially spook financial markets into driving down the value of Qatari debt, destabilizing the Qatari economy.

Although the plan is unlikely to proceed, the crisis has hit Qatar’s economy. The cost of insuring Qatari debt has risen 70% since May, while their stock market has plunged by 24%. The financial pressure is forcing state companies to shrink their international profile; the Qatar Foundation is selling its $1.5 billion stake in Vodafone, while the Qatar Islamic Bank is withdrawing from the Asian Finance Bank.

The revealed plot is the death knell for any return to the prior status quo; even a reconciliatory Qatar will be wary of rebuilding economic ties with hostile neighbours. Expect Qatar to expand its economic ties with friendly nations like Turkey, building off of the $1.5 billion in investments Qatar already has in the country.

Delve deeper: Qatar’s Islamist ties targeted by Saudi-led demands

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