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Bahrain invites Qatari delegation to 'discuss pending issues' following end to GCC dispute

Bahrain's foreign ministry said it sent an official invite to Doha [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 January, 2021

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Bahrain sent an official invite to Qatar to discuss 'outstanding issues' between the two Gulf states, just days after the end of the GCC dispute was declared.
Bahrain has invited Qatar to Manama to discuss pending issues between the two sides, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The official invitation requests a Qatari delegation to visit Bahrain "as soon as possible" to begin bilateral discussions on pending issues to implement the Al-Ula Declaration.

Despite the signing of the declaration in Saudi Arabia earlier this month to end the three-year long dispute between Qatar and other GCC states, tensions between Doha and Manama have remained.

On Sunday, Bahrain's foreign ministry accused Qatar of detaining a bodybuilder and a number of accompanying fishermen who breached Doha's territorial waters during a fishing trip.

Doha has yet to publicly comment on the case, but it comes after several other breaches of Qatari waters by Bahraini vessels.

Read also: Qatar travellers crossing into Saudi Arabia welcomed with roses after border reopens

Before the lifting of the blockade, Bahraini fighter jets flew into Qatari airspace at least four times, while at least two Bahraini vessels also violated its territorial waters

Qatar sent a letter to the UN Security Council to report the violations.

Just several weeks later, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council announced the end of the three-year long dispute with the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration in Saudi Arabia.

The move finally lifted air, land and sea restrictions on Qatar and all parties involved - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt - announced plans to restore formal ties with Doha.

Riyadh and its allies in June 2017 enacted a blockade on Qatar that included closing airspace to Qatari planes over claims Doha backs Islamist groups and was too close to Iran. Qatar always denied the charges.

On Monday, Bahrain opened its airspace to Qatari aircraft, becoming the last Gulf country in a Saudi-UAE led quarter to officially lift its blockade on Doha.

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