When four of Qatar’s neighbours hit it with an economic and diplomatic embargo back in June 2017, one expert says it faced two big problems.
“The Qataris had a two-fold battle to fight,” says Michael Stephens, Middle East research fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute.
“One was to convince world opinion that they weren’t these horrid terrorist-supporting Bin Laden types.
“And the other was to show that the economy was robust, that it was a good place to invest, and that the Qataris were creating conditions that will make it easier for foreign direct investment to thrive.”
They also made 13 demands, including ending economic cooperation with Iran, and closing down TV station al-Jazeera. qatar refused to meet any of these, and so 19 months later the blockade remains in place.