The inaugural Qatar Economic Forum will commence virtually today.
The summit comes in the wake of Doha’s efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations with its Gulf Arab neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE—as well as Egypt.
Expect Qatar to leverage the conference—which will bring together hundreds of leading statesmen, diplomats, academics and businessmen—to underscore Doha’s indispensability in regional and global multilateral initiatives. Qatar will use this influence to maintain the current trajectory of normalizing relations with its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab League partners.
In the short-term, in order to secure heightened US and EU support for its GCC and Arab League normalization processes, expect Doha to make significant financial commitments—especially regarding humanitarian aid to developing countries. Also expect Doha to announce new investments throughout the Middle East, Europe and North America—especially in the sustainable energy and technology sectors.
In the medium-term, expect Qatar’s relations with Egypt, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to continue on the current track of normalization. Relations between Abu Dhabi and Doha are likely to remain cooler, with the UAE remaining highly suspicious of Qatar’s close relationship with Turkey and their support for Muslim Brotherhood elements throughout the Middle East.
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Sinan is an analyst for the Current Developments Team and a regular contributor to the Daily Brief. A student of transatlantic affairs, he specialises in political, economic and energy affairs of Europe and the Middle East.