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Gulf Cup Kicks-Off Amid Speculation Of Possible Thaw Between Qatar & Neighbors

The participation of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in a football tournament in Doha this week has given rise to speculation of a possible breakthrough in the crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.

Qatar is hosting the 24th Gulf Cup, which kicked-off on Tuesday and features the national teams from the Saudi-led trio of countries.

The three Gulf monarchies ostracized Qatar in June 2017, cutting trade and diplomatic ties after accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

They have since refused to participate in the 2017 Gulf Cup in Qatar, and agreed only after the tournament was moved to Kuwait.

But the arrival of their teams in Doha this week is essentially seen as the breaking of the two-year blockade.

It remains unclear if the three boycotting countries will ease restrictions on their citizens on travelling to Qatar.

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