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With US retreat, new year brings new opportunities for Arab Gulf

Fifty years ago this week, the inhabitants of the six small emirates on the western shore of the Persian Gulf faced the new year with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Their region had for more than 150 years comprised what the British referred to somewhat dismissively as the Trucial States. 

Over the previous year, however, life had changed dramatically – potentially for the better, but quite possibly for the worse.

Post-colonial Britain, strapped for cash, had abandoned its commitments east of Suez and left the subjects of its former protectorates to sink or swim.



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