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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

King Salman invites Qatar’s Amir to visit Saudi kingdom

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Both countries have worked towards restoring diplomatic ties since the Al-Ula Declaration earlier this year.

Qatar‘s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani received a written message from Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman Al-Saud, the Amiri Diwan announced on Monday.

The messages, delivered by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Abdullah al-Saud, includes an official invitation to the neighbouring kingdom .

Prince Faisal met with the Amir at his office in Al Bahr Palace on Monday during a quick trip to the Gulf state.

Read also: Qatari envoy to Riyadh holds first diplomatic meeting with Saudi official

He also met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani to review bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the strengthening of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ties, a tweet from the Qatari official confirmed.

The visit comes as both countries continue to work towards strengthening diplomatic ties following the end of a three-year crisis that was triggered by an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar. In January, both states signed the Al-Ula Declaration to restore ties.

Earlier this month, Anadolu reported a meeting between Acting Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the State of Qatar to Riyadh Hassan bin Mansour Al-Khater and Saudi Arabia’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Protocol Affairs Mashari bin Nahit in the kingdom’s capital – the first public announcement of a Qatari diplomat in Saudi Arabia

That followed the first diplomatic meeting between Riyadh and Doha in Qatar in February.

To date, there are still no official updates regarding the reopening of Riyadh’s embassy in the Qatari capital, despite previous statements made by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

“Our embassy will be reopened in Doha within days after completing necessary procedures,” the Saudi official said in January.

In February, the Qatari flag was raised in Riyadh for the first time since the GCC crisis erupted in 2017.

The dispute between the two Gulf states began in 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal land, air and sea blockade on Qatar.

Details of the accord between the GCC states and Egypt were not made public, but it was believed to entail more joint action in order to combat issues that pose a threat to the region’s security and stability.

Read also: Qatar’s Amir, Saudi Arabia’s MBS discuss ‘green initiatives’ in phone call

Since then, several senior-level meetings have been held in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia to revive trade and partnerships. Both countries have also allowed national carriers to enter their airspaces after a three-year hiatus.

The meetings are part of a roadmap to implement the historic Al-Ula accord and aim to further strengthen Doha and Riyadh’s ties.


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