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Saudi Arabia to Open its Embassy in Qatar Soon: Foreign Minister

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud attends a joint press conference with the German Foreign Minister in Berlin, on August 19, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan stated that Saudi Arabia is expected to reopen its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, following the reconciliation last week to end a three-year dispute.

The minister added to reporters in Riyadh when asked about the reopening of the embassies of the two countries, saying it was just a logistical matter.

Saudi Arabia–Qatar relations refers to the current and historical relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar. Prior to 2017, the two countries maintained cordial ties.

“Qatar was mainly subservient to Saudi Arabia in matters relating to foreign policy,” he added.

The Saudi-Qatari relations witnessed a great development with the arrival of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to power in Qatar.

 In 1996, the Qatari government launched Al Jazeera in a bid to consolidate soft power. One of the most watched news stations in the Arab world, Al Jazeera proved to be a wedge in the two’s bilateral relations as it routinely criticized Saudi Arabia’s ruler.

Qatar contributed 1,000 troops to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed all ties with Qatar.

The reason given was Qatar’s “embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region”.

As part of this campaign, the Saudi-led quartet closed off their airspaces, territorial waters and land borders to Qatar. Saudi Arabia also suspended Qatar’s involvement in the Yemen campaign.

On 4 January 2021, Qatar and Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen airspace, land and maritime borders, with the expectation to fully restore diplomatic relations. On 16 January, Saudi Arabia announced it will reopen its embassy in Qatar.

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