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Qatar’s emir appoints ambassador to Saudi Arabia after 4-year row

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) welcomes Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani upon his arrival to attend the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) 41st Summit in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2021. (Photo by Getty Images)

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani names an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, after more than four years of a Riyadh-led row that included a diplomatic, trade and travel embargo on Qatar.

Sheikh Tamim's office said in a statement on Wednesday that Bandar Mohammed al-Attiyah was appointed as ambassador to Riyadh.

Al Attiyah has previously served as Qatar's ambassador to Jordan and Kuwait.

The move came two months after Riyadh in June reinstated its envoy to Doha and after GCC states agreed this year to end a long-running dispute.

Saudi Arabia entered a détente with Qatar in January more than three years after Riyadh and its allies had severed their ties with Doha.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt severed their ties with Qatar in 2017, citing, among other things, its close relations with Tehran and accused it of supporting “terrorism” due to its backing of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas.

The allegations were categorically denied by Qatar.

The quartet called on Doha to downgrade its ties with Tehran and cease its support for the Islamic groups, among other excessive demands, which Qatar rejected as an attack on its sovereignty.

But earlier this year, the blockading countries agreed to restore ties with Qatar.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on January 5 that his country, alongside the UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, is "pleased with having been able to achieve this very important breakthrough that we believe will contribute very much to the stability and security of all our nations in the region."

"We are at a place where everybody is satisfied and happy ... the returning of diplomatic relations, flights, etc., all of that will now go back to normal," he said, according to remarks carried by AFP.

The remarks came a day after leaders of the six-nation GCC signed a "solidarity and stability" declaration during the annual summit in the ancient desert city of al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's emir attended the GCC summit, in his first visit to the kingdom since ties had frayed four years ago.


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