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Both events reflect complex diplomatic relations between the Maghreb and the Gulf.However, this narrow cooperation could prefigure a more mature, multilateral, and long-term strategic understanding between the Maghreb and Gulf states.The Gulf states have indeed had a security footprint in the Maghreb – the Gulf Cooperation Council called on NATO to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011, a first step toward their greater security involvement in the Maghreb without U.S. coordination. However, Libya is now caught in the Gulf's own regional competition, as Qatar supports the internationally recognized government in Tripoli while the UAE backs the Tobruk-based government politically and provides military support to the anti-Islamist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.Even though the Libyan crisis – as well as the rift between Qatar and the GCC, which further complicates Maghreb attempts to mediate among Libyan factions – has forced the Maghreb and the Gulf to seek narrow cooperation on these regional issues, their coordination has been piecemeal and reactionary rather than strategic.
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