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UAE and Qatar reopen embassies after years of tension

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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar announced on Monday the reopening of their respective diplomatic missions, six years after the two Gulf rivals severed ties during a regional lockdown, sending tensions soaring.

The two resource-rich monarchies resumed official relations in January 2021 after the end of a nearly four-year diplomatic and transport blockade that isolated Qatar. “The UAE and the State of Qatar announce the resumption of diplomatic representation relations between the two countries,” a statement from UAE officials said.

It said the two sides “are in the process of resuming operations at the UAE embassy in Doha, the Qatari embassy in Abu Dhabi and its consulate in Dubai”.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a diplomatic and transport blockade on Qatar in 2017, accusing it of supporting extremist groups and getting too close to Iran.

Hostilities in the Gulf eased and diplomatic missions reopened after heavyweight rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in March that they were ending a seven-year severance.

In a subsequent round of reconciliation, Qatar and neighboring Bahrain put aside their long-running feud and resumed ties in April.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan visited Iran on Saturday to meet President Ibrahim Raisi in another important step toward reconciliation between the two countries.
Iran reopened its embassy in Riyadh this month. The détente between the Sunni Muslim kingdom and the Shia theocracy appears significant as they have long competed for influence in the region, backing opposing sides in the conflict, including in Yemen.

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