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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Yemen, Qatar restore diplomatic relations after three-year split


Sanaa was one of the countries that followed the footsteps of the quartet in blockading Doha in 2017.

Yemen and Qatar announced the restoration of diplomatic relations after more than three years of a rift that came with the GCC blockade on the Gulf state.

Yemen’s foreign minister Ahmed Bin Mubarak met his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha on Sunday, the first such visit from a Yemeni official since 2017.

The two diplomats discussed bilateral ties and ways to bolster ties while cooperating to achieve peace and stability in the region.

“Bin Mubarak expressed his overwhelming happiness with the great achievement of the Al-Ula Summit, represented in the Gulf reconciliation and the return of cohesion and rapprochement between the Gulf brothers,” read a statement from the Yemeni foreign ministry.

The statement failed to mention when embassies will be reopened in Doha and Sanaa, though sources with knowledge of the matter told Doha News that Yemen’s embassy in the Qatari capital will resume operations on Sunday.

Last week, Qatar’s foreign minister also met with US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking in Doha. The Qatari official said the Yemen crisis can only be resolved through dialogue.

“Including all of our GCC partners in our re-energised diplomatic efforts is key to resolving the conflict in Yemen,” the US State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs tweeted.

The latest developments come two months after the signing of the Al Ula Declaration between Qatar and the blockading states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

The signing essentially mended a three-year rift that was triggered by an illegal air, land and sea embargo was imposed on the Gulf state over accusations it supports terrorism. Doha has consistently and vehemently denied those allegations.

Read also: Qatar’s FM slams ‘unjustifiable’ Israeli action during Arab League meeting

While Yemen is not a member of the GCC, it joined Saudi Arabia in the blockade largely due to the kingdom’s influence on its foreign policies.

Qatar recently called on world leaders to ensure peace in Yemen, stressing the need to end the devastating conflict, which has so far killed more than 100,000 people.

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