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Jordan appoints new ambassador to Qatar, two years after downgrading ties

Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L) is welcomed by Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) at the 28th Arab League Summit in Amman, Jordan on March 28, 2017 (Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency )
Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L) is welcomed by Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) for the 28th Arab League Summit in Amman, Jordan on 28 March 2017 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan appointed a new ambassador to Qatar on Tuesday, a step toward restoring normal relations two years after it withdrew its ambassador in solidarity with Gulf Arab allies who severed ties with Doha. Amman downgraded its diplomatic representation on June 2017, days after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed all ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies, reports Reuters.

Zeid al-Lawzi, a senior career diplomat and secretary-general of the foreign ministry, was named as the new envoy, a royal decree said.

Qatar last summer extended a $500 million aid package to Jordan only days after its Gulf adversaries pledged $2.5 billion to help Jordan overcome an economic crisis after a wave of rare anti-government protests.

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Doha has in recent months opened more jobs for Jordanians as part of the aid package, which includes project finance and job-generating investments.

Jordanian officials have privately expressed dismay that aid extended by Gulf heavyweight Saudi Arabia, among its main donors, had in recent years fallen short of the levels it once delivered to the cash-strapped Jordanian economy.

The Arab rift with #Qatar intensifies - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Arab rift with Qatar intensifies – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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