2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani is photographed at the presidential palace in Baabda 2/2
DUBAI (Reuters) – The delegations of Qatar and Egypt met in Kuwait on Tuesday for the first time since an agreement was reached last month to end a gap, the foreign ministries of both countries said, in a new momentum to bury a Persian Gulf diplomatic dispute with repercussions around the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January at a summit in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula to reestablish diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Doha, which had been severed in 2017 over allegations that Qatar supported terrorism, a charge that denies. Qatar similarly met with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates in Kuwait on Monday for their first bilateral talks. “The two sides welcomed the steps each has taken since the signing of al-Ula’s declaration, as a step on the road to building trust between the two sister countries,” the statement said. Since the agreement, air and travel links between Qatar and the four states have been resumed. Each state must organize bilateral talks with Qatar to solve individual problems. Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said last month that it had written to Qatar inviting Doha to send a delegation to Bahrain to start bilateral talks to implement the al-Ula agreement. Qatar has yet to respond, Bahrain’s foreign minister said. Washington has strong ties to all the states involved, including Qatar, which is home to the largest US military base in the region, and has seen the breakdown as a threat to efforts to contain Iran. It has promoted a united Gulf front. The dispute also shook Arab power politics in the region, where Gulf states have used their financial and political clout to influence events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.