Qatar minister meets new Saudi envoy as ties restored

DOHA – A Qatari minister met the newly arrived Saudi envoy to Doha on Wednesday (Feb 10), Qatar said in a statement, as the neighbours continue to restore ties abruptly cut in 2017.

Saudi Arabia and its allies, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic and other relations over claims Qatar backed Islamist groups and was too close to Iran – charges Doha has always denied.

Wednesday’s announcement was the first publicly announced meeting between Saudi and Qatari diplomats since January, when the quartet agreed to re-establish ties following a flurry of diplomatic activity by the Trump administration.

“Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi met Wednesday with Acting Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ali Saad Ali al-Qahtani in Qatar,” Doha said in its statement on Wednesday.

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral cooperation and relations… in addition to issues of common interest.”

The announcement comes after flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were restored on Jan 11, shortly after the reopening of the land border between the neighbours.

The schism complicated regional travel, divided and raised costs faced by Qatari businesses.

The economic hit of the crisis, coinciding with low prices and the coronavirus downturn, was felt across the region.

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