Bahrain's crown prince and Qatari emir talk to resolve issues

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended a three-year rift with Qatar when they signed the Al Ula declaration in 2021

Bahrain's Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at Riffa Palace, Bahrain. Wam
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Bahrain's crown prince and Qatar's emir spoke by telephone late on Wednesday, the state news agencies of each country reported, in a sign that the two Gulf countries are making efforts to improve ties after restoring relations following years of discord.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended more than three years of disagreement with Qatar when they signed the AlUla declaration in January 2021.

In June 2017, the four countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting militant groups, which it denied.

Bahrain News Agency said the country's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa had a call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that "emphasised the importance of joint efforts to resolve all outstanding differences".

"It was also agreed that officials from both countries will continue to communicate to achieve common goals," BNA said.

The call came a week after Sheikh Tamim and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa attended a small Arab summit hosted by the UAE's President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi that was also attended by the rulers of Oman, Jordan and Egypt.

The call on Wednesday came six months after Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani was working on invitations to hold talks with Qatar to “settle the remaining issues”.

“These pending matters should not be left unsettled and we continue to stress the importance of engaging with Qatar and being open for dialogue and mutual understanding in line with AlUla Summit declaration to solve pending issues between the two countries such as those related to aviation, and maritime co-ordination,” Mr Al Zayani said in August.

Last June, Bahrain said it had invited Qatar for a second time to send a delegation for bilateral talks after its first invitation in January went unanswered.

Updated: January 26, 2023, 8:20 AM