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Al Ahram

The Saudi announcement of opening its embassy in Doha tied the knot for a three and half years of total boycott

Ahmed Mostafa

Tuesday 19 Jan 2021

The details of the reconciliation agreement between Qatar and its neighbours, signed at Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit two weeks ago, still haven’t been made public. But Riyadh is fast-tracking the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Doha.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan announced this week that the Saudi Embassy in Doha will soon be reopened. At a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, in Riyadh, Bin Farhan told journalists that the issue was “just a matter of logistics”. He added that his country “will restore full diplomatic relations with Qatar”. Bin Farhan confirmed: “Our embassy will be reopened in Doha within days of completing the necessary procedures.”

That step follows on the heels of the end of a boycott by three of its Gulf neighbours, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain as well as Egypt (making up a kind of Quartet) during a summit in Saudi Al-Ula on 5 January.

After the summit, Saudi Arabia opened its land border – the only land corridor for Qatar - and allowed Qatari flights in its airspace. All these steps were followed by the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. It is not clear yet when the rest of the Quartet will follow Saudi Arabia in establishing full diplomatic relations with Doha.

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