Saudi Arabia reinstates envoy to Qatar in restoration of ties

Riyadh is one of the first Arab governments to re-establish relations with Doha

A handout picture released by the Qatar News Agency (QNA) shows Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani(R) receiving a copy of the credentials of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan Al-Saud, in Doha on June 21, 2021.  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / QATAR NEWS AGENCY " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
 / AFP / Qatar News Agency / - /  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / QATAR NEWS AGENCY " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Saudi Arabia on Sunday reinstated its ambassador to Qatar, Prince Mansour bin Khalid, taking the lead among the four GCC nations to re-establish relations after ending a dispute with Doha this year.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani assured Prince Mansour of "all support to advance bilateral relations to achieve closer co-operation in various fields", the Qatar Foreign Ministry said.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting militant groups. Qatar denied the claims.

The dispute was resolved in January and an agreement was reached to restore political, trade and travel links. Saudi Arabia re-opened its embassy in Doha this year.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the World Economic Forum in January that it was important for GCC members to fully co-operate with each other.

A united GCC will help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

On January 5, senior officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim, met for the 41st GCC summit and signed Al Ula declaration to re-establish ties.

The move followed efforts backed by the Gulf countries and the US to end the three-year crisis.

Since then, the countries have opened up their air spaces to each other and some flights have resumed.

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