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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Libya and Egypt receive Qatari ambassadors after years-long hiatus


The Qatari ambassador to Libya will be the first instated since Qatar closed its diplomatic mission in Tripoli in 2014. 

Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani named the new ambassadors to Egypt and Libya on Thursday, as the Gulf state moves to strengthen its diplomatic ties with other countries in the region.

Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi will act as the new envoy to Egypt, while Khalid Mohammed Al-Dosari has been appointed to Libya. Al-Shafi was previously the Qatari ambassador to Turkey.

Qatar was among the many foreign missions in Tripoli to shut down in 2014 when the conflict led to the country splitting between two clashing administrations.

Libya has been mired with unrest and violence since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown during Arab Spring protests in 2011.

The internationally-recognised Government of National Accord is based in the capital Tripoli while rogue General Khalifa Haftar is based in the east of the country. Both factions are backed by foreign forces.

However, the country is now preparing for parliamentary and presidential elections that are set to be held at the end of the year.

Qatar first expressed its desire to reopen its diplomatic office during a meeting between Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush and her Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in June.

Read also: Qatar’s amir calls for dialogue as Tunisia faces worst political crisis in a decade

For Egypt, Al Shafi will be the first Qatari ambassador since the 2017 Gulf blockade on Qatar.

Cairo withdrew its ambassador from Doha on in 2017, immediately after the Gulf crisis saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade.

Since the announcement of the Gulf reconciliation last January, Egypt and Qatar have continued to move towards strengthening relations that have strained during the past years.

In June, Egypt appointed its newest ambassador to Qatar, following a similar move by Saudi Arabia. The UAE and Bahrain have yet to restore diplomatic ties with Qatar.

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