Following a long diplomatic dispute, Qatar and Bahrain have expressed their intention to restore ties.
In 2017, Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt in cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar. However, animosity between the two nations dates back even longer, and Bahrain is the last of the three to restore ties.
According to Qatar’s foreign ministry, an agreement on the reconciliation was achieved during meetings at the headquarters of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Saudi Arabia.
The neighbours “decided to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries according to the principles of the United Nations charter”, said a foreign ministry statement.
“The two sides affirmed that this step stems from the mutual desire to develop bilaterally
relations and enhance Gulf unity and integration,” it added.
The official news agency of Bahrain issued a similar remark from the country’s foreign ministry.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut off all diplomatic ties with Qatar, claiming that it had supported terrorist groups in the area and had grown too close to Iran.
The four nations forbade Qatari ships and aircraft from entering their territorial waters and airspace.
In January 2021, a reconciliation agreement became official. The UAE and Qatar have not yet reopened their embassies, despite the three other nations having previously reestablished diplomatic ties.
Officials from the UAE and Qatar had their most recent reconciliation meeting last week, which was said to have had a “positive atmosphere” by the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson.
Due to complex concerns, such as their maritime boundary, it has been more difficult to mend relations between Qatar and Bahrain. The two sides frequently accuse one another of holding fisherman from the other nation against their will.
The reunion between Qatar and Bahrain occurs amid a rush of regional initiatives to settle conflicts.
Seven years after publicly severing ties, archrivals Saudi Arabia and Iran decided last month to rekindle their relationship.