Six years after the Gulf rivals lost connections in the midst of a regional embargo that sent tensions soaring, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar announced on Monday that they will be restoring their respective diplomatic offices. This comes after six years of diplomatic isolation.
After almost four years of a diplomatic and logistical boycott that isolated Qatar, the two resource-rich monarchs finally reestablished their official relations in January of 2021.
According to a statement published by the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), WAM, “The United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar announced the restoration of diplomatic representation between the two countries.”
According to the statement, the two parties have “resumed the work at the embassy of the UAE in Doha, as well as at the embassy of Qatar in Abu Dhabi and at its consulate in Dubai.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar issued a statement that was quite similar.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorist organizations and growing too close to Iran, which led to the imposition of a diplomatic and transit embargo on Qatar. The accusations have been refuted by Doha.
The heavyweight competitors Saudi Arabia and Iran declared in March that they would be restoring diplomatic contacts after a seven-year hiatus, which led to the reopening of diplomatic missions at a time when tensions in the Gulf region are decreasing.
In April, as part of the process of reconciliation that has since taken place, Qatar and its near neighbor Bahrain put an end to a long-running rivalry in order to restart ties.
Faisal bin Farhan, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, traveled to Iran on Saturday and met with President Ebrahim Raisi, marking yet another significant development in the countries’ efforts to improve relations. This month, Iran reopened its embassy in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The Sunni Muslim monarchy and the Shiite theocracy have been competing for dominance throughout the region for a long time, backing opposite sides in crises such as Yemen. The recent detente between the two looks to be important because of this competition.