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When the quartet of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE launched an economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar last summer, they hoped to swiftly force Doha to change its behavior in a whole host of areas, from closing down the Al Jazeera television network to cutting ties with Iran and Turkey. It hasn’t quite worked out as they hoped. Instead of bending to the will of its four neighbours Qatar has fought back, building new trade links with other countries and fighting a canny diplomatic battle against its adversaries. The small, energy-rich country now ranks as the eighth most open in the world to visitors, according to the UN.


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