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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Qatar’s FM meets MBZ in first UAE visit since GCC crisis

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The two countries restored diplomatic ties on 5 January after signing the Al-Ula Declaration.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani met with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday in the UAE.

According to the Emirates News Agency [WAM], the two officials discussed ties between the the UAE and Qatar and means to enhance them to serve the interests of both two countries.

Top UAE official’s meeting with Qatar amir signals ‘admission of peace post Gulf crisis’: analysts

The trip on Wednesday marked the first such visit by the Qatari official to the Emirates since the 2017 GCC crisis, which saw an illegal air, land and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.

In August, the UAE’s National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also brother of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, met with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, in the first such high-level visit to the Qatari capital since the GCC crisis.

Commenting on the previous UAE official’s visit, Dr. Andreas Krieg, assistant professor at the School of Security Studies at King’s College London and researcher of Middle East and North African Studies, said that Sheikh Tahnoun is the equivalent of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan given that the former is the mastermind of political strategy.

“It’s a bit of a realisation from Abu Dhabi that Doha played their card more effectively in order to achieve their objectives,” Dr. Krieg said.

Despite signing the Al-Ula Accord on 5 January, relations between the UAE and Qatar have struggled to warm.

However, the two high-level visits between the two Gulf states suggest an acceleration of rapprochement after months of tensions.


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