Saudi envoy to Qatar takes up post as rift eases

By: AFP      Published: 08:18 PM, 21 Jun, 2021
Saudi envoy to Qatar takes up post as rift eases

Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to Qatar took up his post on Monday, presenting his credentials after the two Gulf countries re-established ties in January following a bitter three-year feud. 

Saudi envoy Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan Al-Saud was received by Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, in the capital Doha, according to Qatar's ministry of foreign affairs. 

Sheikh Mohammed "wished the new ambassador success in his duties, assuring him of all support to advance bilateral relations between the two countries to achieve closer cooperation in various fields", it said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and its allies -- the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt -- severed all ties with Qatar in June 2017 over claims it was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamist groups, allegations Doha has always denied. 

But in January of this year, the boycotting countries agreed to restore relations with Qatar following a flurry of diplomatic activity by the United States, an ally of all nations involved in the dispute. 

The quartet agreed to lift the restrictions at a summit for Gulf Arab nations in January in the Saudi desert city of Al-Ula. 

Since the reconciliation there have been cautious steps towards normality, including the resumption of air travel between the former adversaries and the reopening of Qatar's sole land border with Saudi Arabia.