UAE chief visits Qatar for first time since blockade

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The United Arab Emirates’ president on Monday made his first go to to Qatar for the reason that finish of a nearly four-year regional blockade that put ties in a deep freeze.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was greeted by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the airport and left after an official lunch in a short journey that coincided with the soccer World Cup in Qatar.

“The meeting explored UAE-Qatar relations and the prospects for growing their cooperation to boost prosperity in both countries and serve their common interests,” the UAE’s official WAM information company stated.

It was the primary state go to for the reason that nations mended ties in January 2021, when a years-long Saudi-led boycott of gas-rich Qatar lastly got here to an finish.

Sheikh Mohamed congratulated Qatar on internet hosting the World Cup, calling it “a source of pride to all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and to the Arab world in general”, WAM stated.

The first World Cup on Arab soil is going down lower than two years after the tip of the Saudi-led blockade.

Saudi Arabia and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt reduce ties with Qatar in June 2017, claiming it supported extremists and was too near Iran — allegations that Doha denied.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto chief, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has already met the emir through the World Cup the place he was pictured carrying a Qatar soccer scarf.

Although that is the UAE president’s first go to for the reason that blockade, ties have been regularly warming.

In May, the emir flew to Abu Dhabi for the funeral of Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohamed’s half-brother and predecessor as president.

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