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UAE withdraws bid to host 2026 World Bank-IMF meetings in favour of Qatar

March 13, 2023 at 12:21 pm

World Bank headquarters May 8, 2007 in Washington, DC [Win McNamee/Getty Images]

The UAE has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings and will instead support Qatar’s bid, Reuters has reported. The details were issued by the office of Qatar’s emir and the UAE’s state news agency on Sunday, in the latest sign of warming ties between the Gulf neighbours.

The decision was made during a phone call between UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. In a phone call on Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed pledged the UAE’s support for Qatar’s bid to host the meetings and “wished the Emir and the people of Qatar every success in hosting this global gathering.” The two leaders also “explored areas for further collaboration,” it was confirmed.

Sheikh Tamim extended his thanks to his “brother, His Highness the President of the UAE”, for supporting Qatar’s bid.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended a three-and-a half year embargo on Qatar in early 2021. However, relations between Doha and Abu Dhabi had not warmed up at the same pace as those with Riyadh and Cairo, which re-established diplomatic ties with Qatar. Nevertheless, the UAE president visited Qatar during the FIFA World Cup tournament in December.

Bahrain and Qatar held the first round of bilateral talks last month aimed at repairing relations. Abu Dhabi, like Manama, has not yet appointed an envoy to Doha, but has restored travel and trade links with Qatar.

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