Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Qatar sends ambassador back to Iran, angers Bahrain, UAE

Saudi Arabia Working With Iraq to Freeze out Iran Economic diplomacy becomes FM's top priority
Debra Rodriguez | 27 August, 2017, 00:57

"The government of the republic of Chad has decided on the closure of the embassy of the state of Qatar in Chad and on the departure of the ambassador and Qatari diplomatic personnel", the ministry said in a statement, adding that the embassy was given 10 days to comply.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke by phone to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

The two "discussed bilateral relations and means of boosting and developing them".

But, as the Saudi-led siege threatened to cause shortages of food and vital goods in Qatar, Iran started sending shipments of foodstuffs to the Arab country on humanitarian grounds, as did a number of other countries.

In a series of tweets, Dr Gargash also questioned the reasoning behind the move, which comes at a time when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are boycotting Qatar over its closeness to Iran and its support for individuals and groups linked to extremism and terrorism. However, the snub did not result in Qatar shunning off Iran; it instead apparently resulted in the opposite, pushing the two countries closer together.

He said Qatar's decision to restore full diplomatic relations with Iran was accompanied by a "confused justification". Attempts by Kuwait, the USA and others have failed to make headway.

Saudi Arabia Working With Iraq to Freeze out Iran

Qatar and Iran share a massive offshore natural gas field that requires communication between the countries.

There was no official reaction from Saudi Arabia to the Qatari announcement, but the Saudi state-run media outlets have portrayed the move as a sign that another Arab capital has been conquered by Tehran. Unlike Riyadh, however, Doha had not cut all diplomatic ties with Iran.

In recent years, the apparently paranoid Saudi Arabia has been trying to build a coalition to challenge what it sees Iran's growing influence in the region.

In a statement, Senegal's foreign minister said he hoped the act "encourages efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis between Qatar and neighboring countries".

In Washington, State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. remains "very deeply concerned with the status of the dispute" between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc. She declined to comment on the normalization of Tehran-Doha ties.

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