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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Saudi Arabia to reopen its embassy in Qatar ‘within days’

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The re-opening of the embassy comes as part of the full restoration of diplomatic ties between the Gulf states.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Riyadh is working on reopening its embassy in Doha “within days” and sending an ambassador to Qatar. The kingdom had withdrawn its envoy when it imposed a blockade on its neighbour more than three years ago, but now full diplomatic ties are being restored between the GCC member states.

“Our embassy will be reopened in Doha within days after completing necessary procedures,” the Saudi Foreign Minister told a press conference in Riyadh.

The embassy shut down in 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar as part of an illegal land, air and sea blockade.

While Riyadh announced the anticipated resumption of work at its embassy in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Manama have not yet disclosed when their missions will reopen their doors.

Even though Egypt, the fourth member of the blockading quartet had also withdrawn its ambassador at the start of the crisis, the Egyptian consulate did not stop its operations during the blockade with tens of thousands of its nationals living and working in Qatar.

Read also: Qatar ‘ready to mediate’ between Saudi and rivals Iran and Turkey

The full restoration of diplomatic ties between the quartet and Qatar was made official on January 5th, when all countries signed the Al Ula Declaration at the 41st GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia.

While the declaration has not been made public, it entailed improving military integration under the supervision of the GCC defence council, joint efforts to combat issues that threaten the region, and ensures a full lifting of travel restrictions imposed on Qatar.

The declaration also ensures that all signatories do not intervene with one another’s sovereignty and foreign policies.

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