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Kushner-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia, Qatar gets tepid reviews from analysts

After months of haggling, it appears Jared Kushner has helped secure a “last-minute achievement” for the Trump administration in the form of a brokered agreement between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc of regional partners, including Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. The deal, which will be signed Tuesday, involves Saudi Arabia reopening its land border with Qatar, while Bahrain and the UAE will unlock their airspace and waters for Qatari transit. In turn, Qatar is expected to “pursue more open-minded engagement” with its neighbors. But analysts and those involved aren’t sure whether things will really cool down.A senior diplomat for one of the Gulf nations reportedly described the pact as a “step in the right direction,” but suggested the “root causes” of the longstanding rift between the sides are “still there.”> 14 \ “Some of the issues were solved but the root causes for the rift – bad personal relationships between the leaders and big policy differences on Iran, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are still there”, the diplomat told me on the Saudi-Qatar deal> > — Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) January 4, 2021In the Washington Examiner, Tom Rogan similarly writes that “this deal may be a detente. But it should not be seen as a restoration of formal alliances.” He argues Saudi Arabia will “continue to be enraged” by Doha’s relationship with Iran, its financial support of Islamist movements, and its “quiet alliance with Turkey,” among other things.Ultimately, the agreement may be a nod to the Trump administration, as well as an attempt to start fresh with the Biden administration. Tim O’Donnell> 3 \ Why it matters: Saudi Arabia and Qatar were under pressure by the Trump administration to sign the deal. Both countries see the signing of the agreement as a gesture to Trump & also as part of their effort to “clean the table” and prepare for the incoming Biden administration> > — Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) January 4, 2021More stories from theweek.com Why Trump may have Lindsey Graham to blame for Raffensperger call recording Hawley and Cruz: How to lie without quite lying What do we do about COVID vaccine refusal?

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