Zooming out, the recent Al-Ula agreement allows two important observations. The first is that triggering the initial crisis was a serious miscalculation on the part of the Quartet. Led by the Saudis, the Emiratis and Bahrainis have had to concede as much, although with different levels of enthusiasm. The second is that none of the issues leading to the 2017 crisis have been resolved. They will linger if not addressed in one way or another. Combined with the analysis contained in the rest of the paper, these observations allow a few conclusions to be drawn.

To begin with, the Turkish-Qatari relationship will persist. Given that the 2017 break was not the first GCC crisis, Qatar will want to continue pursuing a foreign policy independent from Saudi Arabia. Surprised by the aggressiveness of the 2017 rupture, Qatar is unlikely to substantially reduce its relationship with Turkey, let alone undo the establishment of Turkish military bases on its soil, even though the relationship may diminish in intensity for some time. As Turkish-Qatari relations are not predicated on deep ideological or economic links, they can adjust flexibly to changing circumstances.

Moreover, Saudi reconciliation with Qatar, however superficial it might be at this stage, is likely to open the door for a Saudi-Turkish rapprochement a bit wider.[106] Especially if Doha decreases the extent to which it serves as base for the Muslim Brotherhood while Riyadh accepts that Turkey will continue hosting the Brotherhood, this particular issue could gradually stop being a bone of contention in the Gulf. Tensions between Turkey and the UAE might increase, but that may be a lesser concern in both Ankara and Riyadh, especially as the Turkish base in Qatar does not pose a military threat to the Gulf countries.

Finally, a Saudi-Qatari reconciliation combined with a Turkish-Saudi one, will bring the temperature down in a number of conflicts across the various regions where the Saudis and Emirates were confronting Turkey and Qatar. Especially the (future) use of radical groups and proxies in places like Somalia and Syria is likely to diminish, which is good news for the prospects for peace. It could even create the possibility for a dialogue on preventing radicalization – a shared Gulf-Turkish-European interest - including the premise that enabling moderate Islamist parties to legally function based on a modicum of political pluralism akin to a Tunisia- or Kuwait-style model is a better way of doing so than suppressing them. Such a dialogue is in fact something the EU could initiate or support, based on its own concerns about radicalization abroad and at home.

The Al-Ula declaration has initiated a transition phase that will remain fluid until the policies of the Biden administration towards Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran have gained practical traction. In the meantime, it has opened the door for Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to start building a more triangular relationship.

Indicatively, Qatar already offered its services as mediator between the other Gulf states and Iran. See: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-18/qatar-says-it-s-time-gulf-arabs-start-talks-with-iran (accessed 20 January 2021).