Qatar Appoints Ambassador to Saudi Arabia after Years of Rift in Diplomatic Relations

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has appointed the first ambassador to Saudi Arabia after a four-year break in relations between the two countries. Qatar appointed Bandar Muhammad Abdullah al-Attiyah, who previously headed the diplomatic mission in Kuwait, Reuters reported.

The appointment marks the next step in normalizing ties between Doha and Riyadh, which deteriorated sharply in 2017. At that time, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Yemen, Maldives, and later Mauritania and the Comoros declared a blockade of Qatar, accusing it of cooperation with Iran and support of terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State (IS).

The countries introduced trade and tourism embargoes, completely blocking land, sea, and air communications with this state, which, having no developed agriculture, imported 80% of food through Saudi territory.

To lift the blockade of Qatar, a list of requirements was put forward, including the closure of the Al Jazeera TV channel, the termination of ties with Iran, and military cooperation with Turkey, but Doha rejected these conditions.

In January 2021, members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, under the influence of the United States, announced the opening of borders with Qatar.

Riyadh and Cairo were the first to renew diplomatic relations with Doha. All participants in the boycott, except Bahrain, restored tourist links. At the end of July, Qatar appointed an ambassador to Egypt, following a similar move on its part a month earlier.

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