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Qatar minister meets new Saudi envoy as ties restored

Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs met with the Saudi envoy [QNA/Twitter]

Date of publication: 10 February, 2021

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Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi has met with a new Saudi envoy following the restoration of ties between the two Gulf nations.

A Qatari minister met the newly-arrived Saudi envoy to Doha on Wednesday, Qatar said in a statement, as the Gulf neighbours continue to rebuild ties abruptly severed in 2017.

Saudi Arabia and its allies, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic and other relations in June 2017, claiming that Qatar was backing Islamist groups and was too close to Iran - charges Doha has always strongly denied.

Wednesday's announcement was the first publicly announced meeting between senior Saudi and Qatari diplomats since January, when the quartet agreed to reestablish ties following a flurry of diplomatic activity by the Trump administration.

"Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi met Wednesday with Acting Charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ali Saad Ali al-Qahtani in Qatar," Doha said in its statement on Wednesday.

"During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral cooperation and relations... in addition to issues of common interest."

The announcement comes after flights between Qatar and Saudi were restored on January 11, shortly after the reopening of the land border between the neighbours.

Although the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar proved largely ineffective, the schism complicated regional travel, divided families and raised costs faced by Qatari businesses.

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