DOHA/DUBAI: Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are resuming diplomatic relations and reopening embassies, according to officials on Tuesday.
The decision comes more than two years after Arab countries halted their blockade of Doha.
“At the moment, both countries are reactivating diplomatic ties, which will include the reopening of embassies,” a UAE official said in a statement in response to a Reuters enquiry.
In a statement, Qatar’s international media office announced that “work is underway to reopen the respective embassies as soon as possible.”
According to a Gulf official, embassies are likely to reopen with new ambassadors in place by mid-June. According to a fourth source, diplomatic relations would be entirely restored within weeks.
The re-establishment of contacts comes amid a broader regional effort for reconciliation, with Iran and Saudi Arabia agreeing last month to re-establish relations after years of antagonism that threatened Gulf stability and fueled the Yemen war.
Several Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have moved to end Syria’s decade-long isolation after its assault on protests in 2011 – brutality that sparked a protracted civil conflict.
In Yemen, the Houthi movement and Saudi Arabia held a round of negotiation talks this week, exchanging hundreds of detainees in a key step toward peace. More peace discussions are scheduled to take place soon.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt broke all ties with Qatar in mid-2017, citing allegations that it sponsored terrorism, a reference to Islamist groups, and was cozying up to Iran, both of which Doha rejected.
Following a Saudi-led pact to end the conflict, Riyadh and Cairo were the first to re-appoint ambassadors to Doha in 2021, while Bahrain confirmed last week that diplomatic connections will be restored.