Gulf ambassadors to return to Qatar

17 November 2014

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE say the new agreement will help to unify the GCC

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have announced they intend to return their ambassadors to Qatar, soothing concerns about an escalation in the ongoing political rift between Doha and the other Gulf States.

The three ambassadors were recalled in March amid accusations that Qatar was interfering in the affairs of other countries through its support for political groups overseas, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and the promotion of political Islam through the broadcaster Al-Jazeera, which is funded by Qatar’s ruling family.

According to a statement released by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday the three nations agreed to return their representatives in order to “solidify the unity of the GCC”.

The GCC said the agreement “promises the opening of a new page that will present a strong base, especially in light of the sensitive circumstances the region is undergoing”.

The rise of the jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), has created a new common enemy for the Gulf monarchies.

“The threat from Isis means that the GCC dispute is likely to cool down over the short term although many issues are not yet resolved and are likely resurface in the future,” says Theodore Karasik, director of research and consultancy at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (Inegma). 

Since the ambassadors were removed eight months ago Qatar has asked a number of high profile Muslim Brotherhood figures to leave the country.

Among those who left the country are Egyptian-Qatari imam Wagdy Ghoneim and Amr Darrag, a former Egyptian planning minister that fled the country after the coup d’etat that took place in July 2013.

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