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Riyadh and Doha display united front on Syria – but cracks likely to widen

On the surface, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been unified in their approach to the Syrian crisis. But given the protracted nature of the war, and the rise of Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups within it, competition for control of a post-Assad Syria will only intensify. US secretary of state John Kerry’s 28 February pledge of $60m to the Syrian opposition was seen as a significant policy shift, but – frustratingly for Doha and Riyadh – stopped short of the weapons requested by those fighting to oust President Bashar Al-Assad. For the opposition, support in the form of non-lethal wares such as meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) is grossly inadequate, given its battlefield needs.

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