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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Top Emirati official in Doha as relations warm

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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 the UAE’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in Doha on Tuesday.

Doha’s foreign ministry said that the officials “reviewed aspects of the bilateral cooperation and means of developing the relations to serve the interests of the two countries”.

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

Sheikh Mohammed was in Abu Dhabi earlier this month in the first such visit by a Qatari official to the Emirates since the 2017 GCC crisis, which saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade imposed on Qatar.

During his visit, the Qatari diplomat met with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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.

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.

This was also the first such high-level visit to the Qatari capital since the GCC crisis and came months after the Al Ula Declaration was signed between the feuding states in January.

Prior to the meetings and unlike Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain had remained hesitant to rapprochement with Doha.

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 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.


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