Qatar and Bahrain’s decision to restore diplomatic relations
The decision was announced almost two years after neighboring countries in the Middle East ended their boycott of Qatar. Most of Qatar’s neighboring countries severed ties with Doha in 2017.
The Bahrain News Agency (BNA) and Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday, April 12, that Gulf countries Qatar and Bahrain will resume diplomatic relations. The announcement comes more than two years after Arab countries lifted the boycott against Qatar. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt ended the three-and-a-half-year embargo imposed on Qatar in January 2021. However, Bahrain has since restored only travel and trade links and diplomatic relations have been suspended. After a meeting between their delegations at the headquarters of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar issued official statements announcing the decision to restore diplomatic relations. The Gulf Cooperation Council consists of six countries, of which Qatar and Bahrain are also members.
A statement from Qatar’s foreign ministry said the neighbors had “decided to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The parties reaffirmed that This step is the result of mutual desire to promote bilateral relations and expand Gulf integration and integration, according to Bahrain’s official news agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain issued a similar statement.
An end to the blockade of Qatar
In 2017, most of the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, severed all ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting Islamist movements that threatened them. He was also accused of having close ties with Turkey and Iran, which those countries considered a threat to them.
Apart from this, the four Arab states also had their individual differences with Qatar. However, the boycott had little effect on Qatar’s economy. The Gulf nation of Qatar, which hosted the football World Cup last year, is one of the richest countries in the world due to its vast natural gas reserves.
Saudi Arabia, the country with the most influence, led the boycott and also led efforts to restore relations with Qatar and re-establish diplomatic relations with Egypt.
The Shiite population in Bahrain has also been resisting the Sunni Muslim-ruled monarchy, and because Qatar has deep ties with Iran, Bahrain has been a source of unease. There are also some territorial disputes between Bahrain and Qatar
Visit of the Syrian Foreign Minister to Saudi Arabia
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad arrived in Jeddah on a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, having been invited by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
Relations between Damascus and Riyadh are on the rise, and with it the prospect of resuming diplomatic relations between the two.
During the meeting, the two leaders will “discuss efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which can maintain Syrian unity, security and stability,” according to a statement from Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry.
Tunisia and Syria restore diplomatic relations
Meanwhile, Syria and Tunisia have also announced to reopen their diplomatic missions in both countries.
Since the devastating earthquake last February, Syria has been trying to restore relations with Arab countries after years of diplomatic frost.
Syria is reopening its embassy in Tunisia and will appoint an ambassador to the diplomatic mission, according to a joint statement issued by Damascus and Tunisia on Wednesday.
This joint statement comes after just a week ago, Tunisian President Qais Said announced his efforts to resume diplomatic relations with Syria.