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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Doha-Riyadh diplomatic ties restored as Qatar appoints first ambassador to Saudi Arabia

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Qatar received its first Saudi ambassador since the 2017 blockade in June.

Doha has appointed its newest envoy to Riyadh, Qatar News Agency [QNA] confirmed on Wednesday, marking the official restoration of diplomatic ties between the two states after a major three-year dispute.

Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani appointed Bandar Mohamed Abdullah Al Attiyah as the country’s first ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the first such appointment since the 2017 GCC crisis erupted.

This comes just two months after Doha received its first Saudi Ambassador Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan in June, which was seen as a major step to restoring ties between the two neighbouring countries.

Al Attiyah previously served as Qatar’s ambassador to Kuwait from 2018 until 2021. Prior to that, the official represented Doha in Jordan, where he also received his education.

GCC crisis: Where does Qatar stand with former blockading quartet?

According to media reports Al Attiyah is also the son of army commander “Al Zaeem” [Leader] Mohamed Bin Abdullah Al Attiyah and the brother of Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah.

The new Qatari ambassador to Saudi Arabia is deemed to be among a number of young officials who have established themselves in diplomatic roles, following a successful posting in Jordan. During his time in Amman, Al Attiyah was able to strengthen his country’s ties with the Hashemite Kingdom.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic ties have been warming since the signing of the Al-Ula declaration on 5 January this year, bringing to an end a three-year rift that disrupted the Gulf region’s unity.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, imposing an illegal land, air and sea blockade on the country over allegations that it supports terrorism.

Qatar has consistently denied those claims.


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