Qatar, UAE to reopen embassies after two years

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Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are in the process of reestablishing diplomatic relations and reopening embassies more than two years after Arab governments halted a boycott of Doha that had broken the Western-allied Gulf Arab bloc, according to two officials.

According to a statement from the UAE in response to a query from Reuters, “At present, the activation of diplomatic ties, which will include the reopening of embassies, is under process between both countries.”

By mid-June, according to a Gulf official, embassies are anticipated to reopen with new ambassadors in place. A third source predicted that diplomatic ties would be fully restored in a matter of weeks.

The restoration of ties coincides with a broader regional effort for peace with Iran and Saudi Arabia agreeing last month to normalize their relations after years of antagonism that threatened Gulf instability and fueled the conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt broke all connections with Qatar in the middle of 2017 over claims that Doha was cozying up to Iran and supporting terrorism, both of which Doha rejected.

After a Saudi-led agreement to terminate the issue, Riyadh and Cairo were the first to reassign ambassadors to Doha in 2021, while Bahrain this week said it would reestablish diplomatic ties.

Early in 2021, when the UAE had claimed that establishing diplomatic relations would take time, all countries except Bahrain had already restored economic and travel connections with Qatar.

Last year, leaders of Qatar and the UAE held face-to-face meetings to improve relations.