The unravelling of the oil market in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is helping to blunt the sharp end of Saudi Arabia's assertive regional foreign policy and set the stage for a possible end to a three-year dispute with neighbouring Qatar over its ties to Iran.

De-facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, seems determined to end the isolation of energy powerhouse Qatar, which traditionally has resisted to toe Riyadh’s tough line on non-Arab Iran.