UAE, Qatar reopen embassies as Gulf Arab ties improve after year-long rift

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates and Qatar announced the reopening of their embassies on Monday after a years-long rift over Qatar’s support for Islamist groups.

Both countries released statements saying that the Qatari Embassy in Abu Dhabi and a Qatari Consulate in Dubai, as well as an Emirati Embassy in Qatar’s capital, Doha, had resumed operations. The statements did not specify whether ambassadors were in place or whether the missions were open to the public.

The foreign ministers of the two countries spoke by phone to welcome the reopening of diplomatic missions, Qatar said.

The United Arab Emirates joined Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in imposing a boycott and blockade of Qatar in 2017 over its support for Islamist groups in the Middle East that seized power immediately afterwards. the Arab Spring protests. Other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf view these groups as terrorists – including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which won free and fair elections.

The unprecedented diplomatic crisis between the Arab Gulf countries, normally friends, initially raised fears of an armed conflict. But Qatar’s gas wealth and close ties to Turkey and Iran have largely insulated it from economic sanctions, and relations have slowly thawed.

The boycott was officially lifted in January 2021. Late last year, Qatar hosted visiting leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as it hosted the FIFA World Cup. soccer.

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