DOHA, March 12 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 World Bank and International Monetary Fund meeting in favor of Qatar as a potential host, the Qatari Emir’s office and the UAE state news agency said on Monday. Japan said it was the latest sign of warming relations between the Gulf neighbors.
UAE state news agency WAM and Amir Diwan said in a statement that UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a phone call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This decision.
During Sunday’s phone call, Sheikh Mohamed pledged the UAE’s support for Qatar’s bid to host the conference and “wish the Emir and the people of Qatar every success in hosting this global gathering,” the WAM statement said.
The two leaders also “discussed areas for further cooperation,” the statement said.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended their 3-1/2-year embargo on relations with Qatar in early 2021, but ties between Doha and Abu Dhabi haven’t warmed up as much as they have with Riyadh and Cairo, which have reopened. ——Established diplomatic relations with Doha.
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The political dispute over Riyadh and its allies cutting all ties with Qatar — for its support of Islamist groups they see as a threat to Gulf dynastic rule, as well as its ties to rivals Iran and Turkey — has undermined the Gulf group of six.
But relations between Abu Dhabi and Doha have warmed in recent months, with Sheikh Mohammed visiting Qatar during the World Cup last December.
Bahrain and Qatar held their first round of bilateral talks aimed at repairing relations last month. Like Manama, Abu Dhabi did not appoint a special envoy to Doha but resumed travel and trade links with Qatar.
Reporting by Andrew Mills and Muhammad Al Gebaly; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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