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The New Arab

Former Mauritanian lawmaker calls for restoring Qatar relations

Mauritania cut ties with the gas-rich emirate in 2017 [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 May, 2019

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A former leading member of Mauritania's ruling political party has called on the country's president to restore relations with Qatar and work to resolve the ongoing Gulf dispute.

A former leading member of Mauritania's ruling political party has called on the country's president to restore relations with Qatar and work to resolve the ongoing Gulf dispute.

Khalil Ould Tayeb - an former lawmaker for the Union for the Republic - made the appeal in an opinion article published in local newspaper Al-Akhbar on Monday.

Tayeb said restoring ties to Doha would be in "the best interest" of the West African state.

Mauritania cut ties with the gas-rich emirate in 2017 after a Saudi-led bloc launched an economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar over alleged support for extremists and their regional rival Iran.

Doha has repeatedly denied the claims and accused the bloc of seeking regime change.

Tayeb also called on President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz to re-open a school of Islamic theology shutdown last year over accusations it had links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The closure was seen by some analysts as Mauritania caving to exterior pressure from Riyadh.

The comments come ahead of presidential elections set to take place next month to succeed Abdel Aziz, who is stepping down after his second and final term in office.

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