Qatar defies Saudi Arabia by restoring diplomatic ties with Iran

Qatar has defied Saudi Arabia by strengthening its diplomatic ties with Iran – rather than cutting them back as Saudi Arabia and its allies have demanded. Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have been blockading Qatar since early June and have demanded that Qatar curb its ties with Iran, as well as shut down its al-Jazeera television network and expel extremists from its territory. Rather than give in to the blockading countries’ demands, Qatar announced on Thursday that it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran and sending its ambassador back to Tehran for the first time since 2016. “The state of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields,” The Qatari foreign ministry said. There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia or its allies in Bahrain, UAE and Egypt to the diplomatic move. Qatar has been under blockade for nearly three months Credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo The act of defiance came amid suspicions among Qatar’s leaders that Saudi Arabia might be trying to engineer a palace coup against its emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Their fears were raised after Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, met with an obscure Qatari royal for in Jeddah last week. The royal, Abdullah al-Thani, has no role in the Qatari government and is from a branch of the royal family that was pushed out of power during a 1972 coup. Abdullah had previously lived in Saudi Arabia and at the meeting spoke warmly of “brotherly relations rooted in history” between the two countries. Prince Mohammed responded by opening the Saudi land border to Muslim pilgrims from Qatar who wanted to make the Hajj journey to Mecca, and offering to fly other pilgrims …read more

Source:: Yahoo News

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