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Qatar and UAE Resume Diplomatic Ties After More Than Two Years
The Reopening of Embassies
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reopened their respective embassies on Monday, signalling an end to the years-long feud between the two Gulf states. This move comes after more than two years since Arab countries ended a boycott of Qatar that had splintered the Western-allied Gulf Arab bloc. The Qatari Foreign Ministry announced that the two foreign ministers held a phone call as the two embassies resumed operations.
The Bitter Rivalry
For years, Doha and Abu Dhabi were engaged in a rivalry over the role of Islam in politics, regional influence, and support for pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE severed all ties with Qatar over allegations that it supported terrorism, including political Islam, and strengthened ties with Iran. However, Qatar has denied these charges.
Steps Toward Reconciliation in the Region
The UAE and Qatar's reconciliation is part of a broader regional push for conciliation. In 2021, Riyadh and Cairo were the first to reinstate ambassadors to Doha, while Bahrain has yet to reopen its embassy. This restoration of ties also came after Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to end years of hostility, which had posed a threat to stability in the Gulf and fuelled the war in Yemen.
Implications for the Region
The resumption of diplomatic relations between Qatar and the UAE is expected to set the tone for new avenues of cooperation and investment opportunities in various areas like aviation, finance, and shipping. Given the importance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the reconciliation might also accelerate the process of re-building the GCC. The reconciliation is a positive sign for the Middle East, whose countries' integration and collaboration can stimulate the region's economic growth.
The resumption of diplomatic ties between Qatar and UAE heralds a new era for businesses looking to expand into the Gulf region. The end of the blockade opens up new opportunities in various sectors such as aviation, finance, and shipping. As an entrepreneur looking to expand into the region, the move offers greater stability and economic growth potential. With Qatar and UAE moving forward with reconciliation, other Gulf states such as Bahrain may follow suit and open up for business with Qatar as well. The renewed focus on cooperation among GCC countries might change the geopolitical landscape in the region, which businesses can take advantage of.
However, conflicts and political instability in the Gulf region are still present, and entrepreneurs looking to establish a business there should remain mindful of these factors. The relationships between the countries in the region remain complex, and it is important to understand the political and cultural dynamics of the region before making any investment decisions. In conclusion, businesses that are willing to navigate this intricate landscape have a lot to gain with the renewed diplomatic ties between Qatar and UAE.