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Bahrain FM criticises Qatar despite end of Gulf rift 

January 22, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani in Manama, Bahrain on 29 June 2020 [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP/Getty Images]

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdullatif Al Zayani, criticised yesterday the state of Qatar, accusing it of not taking any initiative to resolve its issues with Manama, despite the outcome of the Al-Ula Summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this month which ended the 2017 Gulf crisis and blockade on Doha.

According to a post by his ministry on Twitter, Al Zayani stated that “Qatar didn’t show after the summit in Al-Ula (Saudi Arabia) any initiative to solve pending problems with Bahrain.”

Al Zayani also revealed that his ministry sent a written letter to his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, calling on Doha to dispatch an official delegation to start talks on outstanding issues between the two countries but has not received a reply from Qatar.

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He added that his country “is looking forward to a new process in relations with Qatar that takes into account the rights and interests of each country, through clear mechanisms to ensure more balanced relations.”

However Bahrain, as of 11 January, agreed to open its airspace to Qatar following the Saudis, UAE and Egypt who have restored diplomatic ties. The announcement by the Bahraini minister came on the same day that the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, announced that the kingdom’s embassy in Qatar is to reopen “in days.”

“All four countries [Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt] are in agreement on the importance of reconciliation with Qatar,” he is quoted as saying by Al-Arabiya.

The diplomatic crisis among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states intensified back in 2017 when pre-existing accusations were levied against Doha over support for terrorism and its ties with Iran which were deemed to be against the collective interests of the GCC. Qatar has denied the charges and considered the boycott and blockade as a violation of its sovereignty.

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