Saudi king invites Qatar’s ruler to visit: Emir’s office
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani receives a letter from King Salman ‘including an invitation to visit’, in the latest sign of improving relations between the former rivals.
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani travelled to Saudi Arabia in January for the GCC summit, but did not meet the king at that time [File: Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters]
26 Apr 2021
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has invited Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to visit the kingdom, the emir’s office has said, in the latest sign of improving relations between the neighbours and former rivals.
Riyadh and allies broke off ties with Qatar in June 2017 over claims it was too close to Iran and was stoking regional unrest, allegations Qatar has always denied.
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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf state.
But in January, the blockading countries agreed to re-establish ties with Qatar following a flurry of diplomatic activity by former US President Donald Trump’s administration.
The emir received a letter from King Salman “including an invitation to visit” Saudi Arabia, his office said in a statement on Monday.
It did not say if Sheikh Tamim had accepted or when the visit would take place.
HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has received a written message from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including an invitation to His Highness to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.​#QNA​
— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) April 26, 2021
Sheikh Tamim last travelled to the kingdom in January for the summit, hosted by the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that led to Doha being readmitted to the regional fold. He did not meet the king at that time.
The latest invitation was delivered by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who travelled to Doha for meetings with his Qatari counterpart.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs met with HH Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who is visiting the country.They reviewed bilateral cooperation relations and strengthening of march of Cooperation Council for Arab States of Gulf.​#QNA​
— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) April 26, 2021
The two discussed “Gulf unity”, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.
Since the reconciliation, there have been cautious steps towards normality, including the resumption of air travel and the reopening of Qatar’s sole land border with Saudi Arabia.
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