The Qatar diplomatic crisis has dominated the regions news agenda for a second week running, with Dohas response to the blockade by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and several other Arab states adding new aspects to the dispute.
Doha this week denied allegations that it is a supporter of terrorist groups and that its foreign policy is destabilising the region, and it asserted its sovereign right to pursue its own foreign policy.
Qatars firm response, coupled with the severe actions of the other protagonists, suggests there is little middle ground to be found that could be used as the basis for a diplomatic solution. If so, this would mean the dispute could became prolonged.
But there are reasons to be optimistic that the crisis can resolved quickly and without further significant shocks. Doha has avoided taking any retaliatory steps, such as disrupting gas supplies to Egypt or the UAE. And, beyond issuing a list of individuals and organisations accused of supporting terrorism, the blockading group has refrained from further escalation this week.
Additionally, Kuwaits Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah has been engaging in intensive shuttle diplomacy around the regions capitals as he seeks to mediate in the dispute.
Away from the Qatar crisis, ongoing concerns about a global oversupply of oil continues to suppress oil prices. Despite this, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) appears to have re-entered the projects market after two years of cutbacks. MEED has reported progress on several Adnoc projects this week, including the $15bn development of the offshore Hail and Ghasha sour gas reservoirs.
Meanwhile, it has been a very big week for PPPs, with Dubai reaching critical milestones on two major PPP projects this week the $3.4bn Dubai sewerage tunnels projects and the pioneering Union Oasis rail hub development. Further PPP progress was seen this week on projects in Egypts transport and education sectors, and in Saudi Arabias healthcare privatisation