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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Who is Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to Qatar?


Saudi Arabia appointed its first ambassador to Qatar after almost 4 years of an illegal blockade.

Qatar’s foreign minister received Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador to Doha since 2017 this week, the Qatar News Agency reported on Monday.

According to the state news agency, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani wished the Saudi ambassador success in his new position, “assuring him of providing all support to advance bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries to closer cooperation in various fields”. 

The move comes after almost four years of a land, air and sea blockade that was imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, all of whom severed diplomatic ties with Doha and withdrew their ambassadors.

Who is the new Saudi ambassador?

Prince Mansour was previously a Member of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom to the United Nations in New York and was appointed a Representative of Saudi Arabia in the Third Committee of the General Assembly.

In 2002, he was assigned as Consultant in the Western Affairs Department of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs before then becoming the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the Czech Republic.

In 2008, he presented his credentials as the permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna (IAEA).

He was also appointed as the kingdom’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna (UNOV) and to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in the same year. 

Prince Mansour then became a non-resident ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Slovenia. In 2009, the Saudi prince presented his credentials as a non-resident ambassador of the kingdom to the Slovak Republic.

In 2012, he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom to Spain and also previously held the position of Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the World Tourism Organisation in Madrid, as well as Non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Saudi Arabia to the Principality of Andorra.

Return of ties

The move to appoint a Saudi ambassador to Qatar is the most recent and public display towards fully restoring ties between Doha and Riyadh after the signing of the Al-Ula declaration ended the Gulf dispute in January.

The dispute has been described as the worst crisis in the history of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, since the signing of the declaration, ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have continued to strengthen.

Diplomats and officials of both countries have been holding regular meetings both in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with travel resuming to normal for citizens of both countries.

There have also been regular phone conversations and meetings between Qatar’s amir and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. A public warm welcome from MBS the moment Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani landed in Riyadh for the first time in three years instantly signalled the return of somewhat normal ties.

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