Saudi Arabia’s MBS on first go to to Qatar since finish of blockade

Trip by Crown Prince Mohammed comes after Saudi Arabia and allies took steps to finish a years-long blockade of Qatar in early 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Doha on the third cease of his tour of the Gulf states, the primary go to since a years-long blockade of Qatar was withdrawn in January.

Crown Prince Mohammed was acquired on arrival by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, after which the 2 leaders held conferences on Wednesday night time.

The go to got here after Saudi Arabia took steps to finish the diplomatic disaster that deeply divided the worldwide group, frayed societal ties, and tore aside a longstanding alliance of Gulf states.

Qatar is the third cease on a tour of Gulf Arab states by Crown Prince Mohammed earlier than a Gulf summit later this month.

The summit would be the first since Saudi Arabia – along with Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – agreed to finish their dispute with Qatar over its overseas coverage, which led them to sever diplomatic ties with Doha in June 2017.

During the regional spat, Qatar rejected the quartet’s calls for – which included that it shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network and expel a small contingency of Turkish troops from its territory.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim, second proper, sits with the Saudi crown prince on the left [State of Qatar via Getty Images]

In January, the 4 blockading nations agreed to finish the row.

Since then, Riyadh and Cairo have appointed new ambassadors to Doha. Abu Dhabi and Manama have but to comply with swimsuit. Qatar additionally re-established commerce and travel hyperlinks with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, however not with Bahrain.

Qatar’s emir has travelled to Saudi Arabia and met Crown Prince Mohammed a number of instances for the reason that finish of the dispute. Wednesday’s go to was the Saudi prince’s first official journey to Qatar since he was named crown prince in 2017.

The Saudi crown prince’s tour had already stopped in Oman and the UAE the place he visited Expo 2020 in Dubai earlier on Wednesday earlier than taking the quick flight to Doha. He continues to be anticipated to travel to Bahrain and Kuwait later within the week.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s tour coincides with talks between Iran and world powers geared toward salvaging the landmark nuclear settlement signed with world powers in 2015.

Then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in 2018 and reimposed punishing sanctions, prompting Iran to start transferring away from commitments made within the deal. Tehran has denied searching for nuclear weapons, and has stated its efforts are for vitality functions solely.

While relations among the many GCC are underpinned by cultural, non secular and tribal ties, they’ve broadly totally different overseas coverage stances on Iran.

Oman, Kuwait and Qatar have all maintained relations with Tehran, whereas Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have seen tensions spike.

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