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Qatar and Bahrain to resume diplomatic ties

Reuters/Ryan Carter
King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa greets Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani the year in advance of resuming diplomatic ties
  • Bahrain had until now resisted restoring travel and trade links
  • Saudi, UAE and Egypt ended Qatar trade embargo in 2021
  • Decision based on mutual desire to develop bilateral relations

Bahrain and Qatar have agreed to resume diplomatic relations following a meeting between leading officials in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Both state-run news agencies for the Gulf countries announced the news following a second meeting of the Bahraini-Qatari follow-up committee, held at the headquarters of the GCC General Secretariat.

“It was decided to resume diplomatic relations between the two countries, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961,” both Bahrain News Agency and Qatar News Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia took the lead in rebuilding ties with Qatar in 2021, bringing to an end an embargo that had been in place for three and a half years, joined by the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

However, while travel and trade links were restored between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, Bahrain had until this week resisted.

Trade between Bahrain and Qatar has dropped considerably over the last 21 years, according to figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity. Exports from Qatar to the kingdom have decreased at an annual rate of 24 percent from $25 million in 2000 to $70,600 in 2021.

Trade in the opposite direction experienced an even greater annual fall of 31 percent, from $48 million in 2000 to just $17,500 in 2021.

The two sides confirmed that the decision stems from the “mutual desire to develop bilateral relations and enhance GCC integration and unity” and the “respect for the principles of equality between states, national sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity and good neighbourliness”.