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The New Arab

UAE restores postal service to Qatar amid nearly three-year blockade

Post will reach Qatar from the UAE via Oman [TASS]

Date of publication: 11 February, 2020

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The UAE cut all ties with Qatar in 2017 after accusing Doha of supporting extremist organisations, but Abu Dhabi on Sunday restored postal services.
The United Arab Emirates has launched postal services to Qatar nearly three years after Abu Dhabi led efforts to see regional states cut ties with Doha, Reuters reported.

The moves comes after a meeting between Qatar and four boycotting parties held by the United Nations' Universal Postal Union late last month.

Indirect services resumed on Sunday with mail transported to Qatar via Oman - one of the main Gulf gateways to Qatar since the beginning of the blockade in 2017 - according to a notice from state-run Emirates Post sent to other postal firms.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a compete diplomatic, trade and transit boycott on Qatar in June 2017. 

The four nations accused Doha of backing radical Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and seeking closer ties with Saudi arch rival Tehran - allegations Qatar vehemently denies.

The UAE government has yet to comment on the resumption of postal services and it was not immediately clear why services had resumed despite the continuing blockade.

A Universal Postal Union spokesman told Reuters that the decision came after a January 29 meeting between Doha and the boycotting parties in Switzerland.

"UPU finds it very positive that there was an agreement to discuss these issues and the discussions were a positive development and a step in the right direction," he said.

Post still cannot be sent from Saudi Arabia or Egypt to Qatar, according to customer service lines run by those countries. Bahrain Post did not respond to a request for comment by Reuters.

Recent months have seen growing hopes of a resolution of the nearly three-year Gulf crisis with reports that Saudi Arabia appears to be taking a more conciliatory approach to Qatar.

In December, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Riyadh and Doha had "moved from a stalemate" and expressed hopes of a resolution to the crisis. 

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