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Saudi Crown Prince in Qatar after UAE visit

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

DOHA: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Doha yesterday as part of a Gulf tour, marking his first visit to the country after the two sides severed ties four years ago. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut all links with Qatar in June 2017, alleging it backed radical Islamist groups and was too close to Riyadh’s rival Tehran – allegations Doha denied.

But relations were fully restored in January after a landmark summit in the Saudi desert city of Al-Ula. Crown Prince Mohammed was greeted by the Amir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, with whom he will hold talks, said the official Saudi Press Agency. His tour comes while a flurry of diplomacy occurs to resolve regional disputes, especially with Iran and Turkey.

Prince Mohammed arrived in Doha after a visit to the UAE, where he met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and attended the site of Expo 2020. Security was tight at the Expo, where the lavish Saudi pavilion was closed to visitors and a small crowd of onlookers, including women in black robes, gathered outside.

Saudi songs, including one with the lyrics “Welcome Mohammed”, were playing on the loudspeaker at Al Wasl Plaza, the site’s central venue. The two countries released a joint statement yesterday, saying they were committed to “enhancing the unity and stability of the Gulf Cooperation Council”, which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. The Saudi prince had arrived in the UAE from Oman, where the two sides signed agreements potentially totaling $30 billion, and will also visit Bahrain today and then head to Kuwait. – AFP

 

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