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Uneasy neighbours

Strains within the GCC and shifting external alliances will make for an unsettled year

The Gulf Cooperation Council began 2017 looking at the new US administration with hope, albeit—as in other parts of the world—with varying expectations. Obama's approach to the GCC and broader region was seen by GCC countries as misaligned with its interests. The Gulf states looked at Obama's support for Arab Spring protests; his engagement with Iran over its nuclear programme; and his administration's lack of action in Libya, Syria and Yemen as symptoms of America's dwindling interest and engagement in the region, and, at times, of policies perceived as opposed to some of the GCC states' interests. The incoming Trump administration attempted a reset by recasting American priorities in the

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