Saturday, May 18, 2024

Regional leaders, analysts welcome Qatar, UAE restoring diplomatic representation

Qatar and the UAE have announced the reopening of their respective embassies and consulates with immediate effect. The detente was broadly welcomed by regional leaders and analysts.

Qatar’s embassy in Abu Dhabi and its consulate in Dubai, as well as the UAE’s embassy in Doha, will reopen on Monday, according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

Both sides stressed that the significant step reflects the determination of the leadership of both countries and contributes to the advancement of joint Arab initiatives, fulfilling the aspirations of the two brotherly people, QNA said.

In a phone conversation on Monday, Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated each other on the resumption of their diplomatic representation, according to a separate QNA report.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also welcomed the restoration between the two member states, Xinhua news agency reported.

GCC Secretary-General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi praised the “blessed step which embodies … the unity of the GCC countries and the support for the joint Gulf action,” QNA reported.

Kheir Diabat, a professor from the International Affairs Department of Qatar University, said the decision to restore diplomatic ties signifies that both sides have pushed their relations a step forward to normalisation and cooperation.

“It means there is an opportunity for the two parties to coordinate their positions and political visions towards Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan. In addition, this rapprochement will also be reflected in the strength of the GCC, which has suffered in recent years from apparent weakness due to the Gulf crisis,” he said.

The thaw is yet another fruit of the wave of regional de-escalation since the Al-ula summit, Adel Abdel Ghafar, director of the Foreign Policy and Security Program of the Middle East Council on Global Affairs in Doha, told Xinhua.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced the severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism and destabilisation of the region. Qatar has denied these accusations.

In 2021, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Qatar on the sidelines of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.

However, due to a lack of consensus on certain issues, the process of full normalisation has been delayed.

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